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记住:你将死去
——乔布斯斯坦福大学演讲全文
2011-09-05 21:35:33  被阅[6872]次  

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一遍又一遍聆听苹果电脑之父乔布斯2005年6月12日在斯坦福大学对全体毕业生的演讲,激动莫名。

乔布斯是智能移动设备时代的先驱,被认为只有疾病才可以击败他,无论是iPhone、iPad、iPod和MacBook这些产品都和他本人一样充满个性,现在苹果的创始人乔布斯正在癌症中心接受治疗,让我们聆听这位时代巨人即将逝去的声音。

 

这里是原文和译文。 

 

今天,我很荣幸能来参加大家的毕业典礼,斯坦福大学是世界上最优秀的大学之一。我根本没有从大学毕过业。说实话,这还是我与大学毕业最近距离的接触。今天,我想给大家讲三个故事,它们都与我自己息息相关。没错,它们就是三个故事而已。

 

   第一个故事是有关小事情间的联系。

 

   不过六个月的时间,我便从里德学院辍学了,但在那之后,我还是在学院里又呆了18个月才真正离开。那么,我为什么要辍学呢?

   话还要从我出生时说起了。我的生母是一个年轻的未婚大学生妈妈,是她决定把我送去别人家收养,并坚持收养我的人一定得是大学毕业生。在我出生前,所有关于收养我的事宜都已经安排妥当了。我本该被送到一个律师家去,但等到我真正出生了,那名律师和他的妻子却在最后时刻发现他们真正想要的还是女孩。所以我的生父生母在半夜给申请名单上的另一个家庭打了电话,“我们有一个不小心生出来的男孩,你们想收养他吗?”他们回答说,“当然想。”但后来,我的生母发现了我的妈妈不是大学毕业生,而我的爸爸甚至连高中都没有毕业,于是她拒绝在收养文件上签字。几个月后,她才最后妥协了,因为我的父母保证以后会送我去上大学。

十七年过去了,我果真上了大学。但我却很无知地挑了一个和斯坦福大学一样贵的学校,光是学费就花掉了我父母辛辛苦苦积攒多年的积蓄,而他们只不过是普通的工人而已。在学校待了六个月后,我发现学校对我没有任何的价值。我不知道我的人生期望是什么,也不知道我在学校里如何才能找到它。而且,我在学校念书,还花掉了父母一生的积蓄。于是,我决定辍学,并坚信这是一个正确的决定。当时,这的确是一个相当冒险的举动,但今天再回头看,那却是我做出的最明智的决定。辍学之后,我瞬间逃开了那些枯燥乏味的课程,转而开始研究那些我真正感兴趣的科目。

但事情也并非完美。辍学后我就没有寝室了,因此我都睡在朋友寝室的地板上。为了有钱吃饭,我还把可乐瓶子退回商店,只为了那5美分的押金。每周星期天晚上,我还要走7英里的路,到城镇另一头的克利须那寺吃一顿大餐。但我爱这样的生活。而且,许多我出于好奇和直觉而偶然做过的事,后来也变得价值不菲。我就举一个例子。

当时,里德学院拥有全国最棒的书法课程。走在校园里,每一幅贴在墙上的海报,每一张粘在抽屉上的标签,都由漂漂亮亮的手写体写就。由于我辍了学,不用再去上课,我便决定报名参加书法培训班,学一手漂亮的字。在培训班里,我了解到了灯芯体和衬线体,字母组合间的间隙变化,以及如何才能让印刷品更美观。这一切是如此美妙、如此古朴、如此艺术、如此微妙,是现代科学所不能触及的。我简直着了迷。

当时看来,这些东西仿佛于我的人生没有任何实际意义。但十年之后,我在设计第一台苹果电脑时,这一切又重新浮现在我的脑海,并最后融入到了Mac系统中,使我们的苹果电脑成为了第一台将文本精致排版的电脑。如果我当时没有辍学,我就不可能去参加书法培训班,Mac系统就不会有多字体选择,字母间也不会有匀称的间隙。而由于Windows是借鉴了Mac的产物,如今所有的个人电脑都没有多字体和美妙的字母间隙也是有可能的。这些事情就像一个一个的点。当我还在学校时,是不可能看得出这些点如何能在未来彼此联系起来的。但十年之后,再回头来看,一切就豁然开朗了。

你们也是一样,现在要将点连接起来是不可能的,只有一段时间后,它们间的联系才会显现出来。但是,你们得相信,它们总是能联系起来的。而且,你们还得坚持一种信念,不管是直觉也好,命运也罢,甚至人生,或是来世,无论什么都好。我这样坚信了,并从中获益良多,我的生命也因此与众不同。

 

我讲的第二个故事,是关于爱与失败。

 

我是幸运的,因为我找到了我愿毕生从事的事业。我20岁时,和沃兹一起在我父母的车库里创立了苹果公司。我们拼命工作,不到十年的时间,就把只有我和沃兹两名员工的苹果从车库搬了出去,并雇佣了4000多名员工,拥有了20亿美元的资产。接着,在我快满30岁的那年,成功推出了我们最棒的艺术品——Macintosh。然后,我就被解雇了。一个人怎么会被自己成立的公司解雇呢?因为,随着苹果日益壮大,我们聘请了一个人,当时,我认为他很有天赋,并希望他能和我一起经营苹果。第一年,一切看来都很好。但好景不长。我们对苹果的未来慢慢出现了分歧,最后我们发生了激烈的争吵。但公司董事会站在了他那边,于是我走人了,就在大家的注视之下。那一年我正好30岁。随之而去的,还有我成年之后对于生活的目标,当时,这给我造成了相当大的打击。

一开始的几个月,我根本不知道该做什么。我总感觉我让上一代的企业家们失望了,因为我把他们传给我的接力棒掉在了地上。我与David Packard和Bob Noyce见了面,想要尝试着道歉,因为我把事情都搞砸了。我觉得自己成了公众的笑柄,甚至还因此想过逃出硅谷不干了。但事情开始慢慢有了转机,我也依然爱着我的事业,在苹果的失败并没有减少我对事业的热爱。虽然我感到灰心丧气,但我依然深爱着这一切。于是,我决定从头再来。

当时我并没有意识到,但后来我才发现,被苹果解雇是发生在我身上最好的一件事。再次创业,一切未知的轻松赶走了成功带来的压力,并给予了我生命中最具创造力的一段时光。

在接下来的五年里,我成立了两家公司,一家叫NeXT,一家叫Pixar,并爱上了一个优秀的女人,她就是我现在的妻子。后来,Pixar公司创作出了世界上第一部全电脑制作动画电影《玩具总动员》,现在已经成为了最成功的动画公司。同时,我也遇到了戏剧性的转机,苹果收购了NeXT,我因此重返苹果,而我在NeXT发展的技术,也成了苹果现在的复兴之源。劳伦娜和我也有了一个幸福美满的家庭。

我很确定的是,如果我没有离开苹果,这一切都不可能发生。离开苹果像是一剂苦口的良药,但这却正是我这个病人所需要的。生活也许会给你沉重的打击,但千万不能失去信念。我确信,支持我,让我一直坚持走下去的,正是我对于我所从事的事业的热爱。你们也是一样,也得找到你们所热爱的。不管是找工作还是找伴侣都是这样。工作将伴你走过人生中很长一段时光,只有你自己认为你所做的工作是伟大的,你才会真正感到满足,因此,你们必须得热爱自己的工作。如果现在你们还不知道它是什么,那就继续找下去,不要马马虎虎应付了事。相信自己心底的感觉,当你找到它时,这种感觉会告诉你。这样的工作和美好的爱情一样,随着时间的推移而愈显美好。因此,勇敢地去寻找吧,千万不要应付了事。

 

最后一个故事,是关于死亡。

 

我在17岁那年读过一句话,话是这样说的,“如果你把每一天都当作是生命中的最后一天来度过,总有一天你会收益良多。”当时,这句话给我留下了很深的印象,从那以后的33年来,我每天早上都会对着镜子问我自己,“如果今天是我生命的最后一天,我还会去做我今天打算做的事吗?”如果我的答案一连几天都是“不会”,我就知道我需要作出改变了。

时刻提醒自己的生命行将终结,这是帮助我为生命中的重要选择做出决定的最好办法。因为所有期待、所有骄傲、所有畏怯、所有的所有,都在死亡面前变得不值一提。在死亡面前,生命中最重要的才能存留下来。时刻提醒自己的生命行将终结,这是防止自己畏手畏脚的最好办法。既然你已经一无所有,为什么不听听内心真实的想法呢?

大约一年前,我被诊断出患有癌症。那天早上7点半我去做了检查,发现胰腺上有一个肿瘤。我根本不知道胰腺癌意味着什么,但医生告诉我说,胰腺癌基本上是绝症,我只有不到六个月可活了。医生建议我马上回家,归纳一下我的各项事宜,通常,这就是医生让病人准备面对死亡的委婉说法。这意味着在一个月的时间里,你得把接下来十年里要对孩子们说的话说完;意味着你得把家中的大小事务都安排妥当,以免给家人造成麻烦;意味着,你得跟这个世界道别了。

那一天,诊断结果无时无刻不出现在我的脑海里。夜里晚些时候,医生把一面内诊镜顺着喉咙穿过胃肠,在我的胰腺里放了一根探针,取下几片肿瘤细胞,做了一次切片检查。我一直很镇定,直到我的妻子告诉我医生在显微镜下检查切片时兴奋地大叫了起来,因为这是一种非常稀有的胰腺癌,可以通过手术治愈。于是我接受了手术,而且现在身体很健康。

这是我最接近死亡的时刻,我真心希望今后几十年里我不要再有这样的经历。渡过这一难关后,比起死亡还只是一个抽象的概念时,现在的我能以一种更加确定的语气对你们说下面的话。

每个人都不想死。即使有人向往天堂,他也不想以死亡的方式去那里。但是我们大家最终都会投入死亡的怀抱。每个人都难逃一死,但这才是事物发展的规律,因为死亡可能才是生命最好的创造。死亡作为生命新老交替的使者,抹去老旧的事物,让新生的力量有空间发展。此时此刻,你们就是新生的力量,但不用太久,你们也会慢慢老去,最后消失。很抱歉说得这么悲观,但这是事实。

你们的时间是有限的,不要去过自己不想要的生活,那是在浪费时间。不要被教条束缚,那与生活在他人思想之中无疑。不要让旁人的观点淹没了你内心的呼喊。最重要的是,你们要有勇气去追寻你心底的想法,去追寻你的知觉。它们才真正清楚你想要成为什么样的人。其它的一切因素都只能拿来参考。

我年轻时,有一本名叫《全球目录》的书,它读来另人惊叹,是我这一代人的圣经。这本书的作者名叫斯图尔特?布兰德,他用诗歌一般的笔触将这本书写得活灵活现。他就住在门洛帕克,离这儿不远。那还是60年代末的时候了,个人电脑和桌面排版都还没有发明出来,他只能使用打字机、剪刀和宝丽来相机。那本书的性质就和Google一样,但比Google早诞生了35年,而且是用纸印刷的。它是理想主义的产物,充满了绝佳的创意和伟大的思想。

斯图尔特和他的团队为《全球目录》推出了好几个版本,最后,当《全球目录》即将退出历史舞台时,他们推出了最终版。那是在70年代中期了,那时我正和你们一般大。在最终版的封底上有一幅图片,上面是一条晨光中的乡村小路,如果你们中有人曾经勇敢地向别人搭过车,说不定就曾经行驶过这样的小路。在图片下面有这样一句话,“求知若饥,谦逊若愚。”这是他们的停刊赠言。求知若饥,虚心若愚。我一直这样要求自己。而现在,在你们即将毕业,迎来人生新起点之时,我也愿你们能记住这句话。

 

乔布斯斯坦福大学演讲英文原文:
Stanford Report, June 14, 2005

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

 

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5?? deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

 
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