Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech



I’ve gone back to Steve Jobs’ Stanford University commencement speech several times over the last several years. I’ve now heard a lot of graduation speeches; it’s part of being dean. Many of those speeches have been good, but few have moved me to tears or laughter. Jobs’ did both. If you haven’t read or watched it, do it. You won’t be sorry. Here’s an excerpt, in which he reflected on life and death, a couple years after he was diagnosed with what he thought was a curable form of pancreatic cancer.

“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’s 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’s 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 others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become…” From Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University, 2005

This article in WSJ reflects on Jobs’ legacy, both the culture of hope he left behind, and what might have been missing in his “secular gospel.”

Most of my heroes are people I’ve met or known. Steve Jobs was one of my heroes. I wish I’d known him.

Happy Monday! I’ll be off to St. Louis for a meeting with my iPhone, iPad and Mac air. Barbara

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