This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
史蒂夫 乔布斯(Steve Jobs)在斯坦福大学2005年毕业典礼上的演讲
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world.Truth be told， 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 found out later 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 go to college. This was the start in my life.
故事从我出生的时候讲起。我的亲生母亲是一个年轻的,没有结婚的大学毕业生。她决定让别人收养我, 她十分想让我被大学毕业生收养。所以在我出生的时候，她已经做好了一切的准备工作，能使得我被一个律师和他的妻子所收养。但是她没有料到,当我出生之后, 律师夫妇突然决定他们想要一个女孩。所以我的生养父母（他们在待选名单上）突然在半夜接到了一个电话:"我们现在这儿有一个不小心生出来的男婴,你们想要他吗？"他们回答道: "当然！"但是我亲生母亲随后发现，我的养母从来没有上过大学,我的养父 甚至从没有读过高中。她拒绝签这个收养合同。只是在几个月以后,我的父母答应她一定要让我上大学,那个时候她才软化同意。这是我人生的开始。
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.
在十七岁那年,我真的上了大学。但是我很愚蠢的选择了一个几乎和你们斯坦福大学一样贵的学校, 我父母还处于蓝领阶层，他们几乎把所有积蓄都花在了我的学费上面。在六个月后, 我已经看不到其中的价值所在。我不知道我真正想要做什么,我也不知道大学能怎样帮助我找到答案。但是在这里，我几乎花光了我父母这一辈子的 全部积蓄。所以我决定要退学,我觉得这是个正确的决定。不能否认,我当时确实非常的害怕, 但是现在回头看看,那的确是我这一生中最棒的一个决定。在我做出退学决定的那一刻, 我终于可以不必去读那些令我提不起丝毫兴趣的课程了。然后我可以开始去修那些看起来有点意思的课程。
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:
但是这并不是那么罗曼蒂克。我失去了我的宿舍,所以我只能在朋友房间的地板上面睡觉,我去捡可以换5美分的可乐罐，仅仅为了填饱肚子, 在星期天的晚上,我需要走七英里的路程，穿过这个城市到Hare Krishna神庙（注：位于纽约Brooklyn下城）,只是为了能吃上好饭--这个星期唯一一顿好一点的饭，我喜欢那里的饭菜。我跟着我的直觉和好奇心走, 遇到的很多东西,此后被证明是无价之宝。让我给你们举一个例子吧：
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.
Reed大学在那时提供也许是全美最好的美术字课程。在这个大学里面的每个海报, 每个抽屉的标签上面全都是漂亮的美术字。因为我退学了, 不必去上正规的课程, 所以我决定去参加这个课程，去学学怎样写出漂亮的美术字。我学到了san serif 和serif字体, 我学会了怎么样在不同的字母组合之中改变空白间距, 还有怎么样才能作出最棒的印刷式样。那种美好、历史感和艺术精妙，是科学永远不能捕捉到的, 我发现那实在是太迷人了。
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.
当时看起来这些东西在我的生命中，好像都没有什么实际应用的可能。但是十年之后,当我们在设计第一台Macintosh电脑的时候,就不是那样了。我把当时我学的那些 东西全都设计进了Mac。那是第一台使用了漂亮的印刷字体的电脑。如果我当时没有退学, 就不会有机会去参加这个我感兴趣的美术字课程, Mac就不会有这么多丰富的字体，以及赏心悦目的字体间距。因为Windows只是抄袭了Mac，所以现在个人电脑就不会有现在这么美妙的字型了。当然我在大学的时候，还不可能把从前的点点滴滴串连起来,但是当我十年后回顾这一切的时候,真的豁然开朗了。
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. Because believing the dots would connect down the road would give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that would make all the difference.