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Motivational Speech on Success: Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005


“Stay hungry. Stay foolish”


Well, Steve Jobs’s quote above is maybe a little bit confusing.

But as you read through what Steve Jobs said during his motivational speech on success to Stanford University graduates in commencement event in 2005, you will see that these four words have great meaning which has summed up what Steve Jobs has done during his meaningful life to achieve his success.

This is the continuation of real life success story with different inspiring person from the previous article. As I read and hear again and again what Steve Jobs has taught in this speech, I always feel more motivated to make effort to achieve what is meaningful in my life. His life story which part was told in this speech has many life lessons which will serve us great to learn much from.

His motivational speech on success is divided into three parts: the story where he believes in his destiny to pursue what he feels right for him, the story where he told us about the importance of doing what you love in life, and the story where he thinks that we should always listen to our hearts and ignore other people doubt to achieve what is the best for us. I think it is a very brilliant speech and it has important lesson in each part for us to apply to our life so that we can fulfill what we think is the most important for us as each person has his/her own opinion on what is important in life.



The first lesson which I get from the speech is to believe in your own way and life target. Steve Jobs tells us in his speech that he didn't believe that what he learned in his major during his short time in his college will help him to determine and achieve what is important in his life. Thus, he quits and instead, he got into the caligraphy class in his university. This helps him to design the typhography in Mac years later. He also tells us about connecting the dots, that we cannot connect the dots looking forward as we cannot see the future but we only can connect them looking backwards when we have already pursued on what we believe and can look to what we have done in the past with happiness after we reach our success because we made it on our own conviction that this is the right path for us. Now I don't think that college is not important. What I get from this first part of the speech is that you need to believe in yourself and know what is important for you in life, what is your target in life. If you already know it, then pursue it with all your heart as I also believe that your relentlessness and determination will determine whether you will succeed in your journey or not to achieve your target. Whether that involves that you really need to drop out of your college to do that, it is up to your judgement. If you do it though, you must have the determination to go all the way to make sure that the opportunity given by it is not wasted away.

The second lesson from the second part of the speech is to find your passion and love what you do. In this part, Steve Jobs tells us about the story when he got fired from Apple and because of his passion in doing what he did (IT area that is), he got the strength to get up again and created NeXT and Pixar which became success. Then he also returned to lead Apple when Apple bought NeXT. Now, I think there is also a lesson of determination here. If you found your interest in life and you found the way to sell your passion to other people, you need to have the believe that it will work and do whatever legal to be a success in that field. It will takes time and probably the road will be bumpy but as you learn your things along the way, there sure will be a way to make it work. If you do not have the absolute believe in it, you either have to make yourself believe that you can go through all the obstacles or you need to find another area where you believe you can excel although probably it is not your best passion in life.

Read also: Inspirational Success Stories: Walt Disney - The Man Who Believed in His Dream

The lesson from the third part of the speech is about death and how Steve Jobs thinks about how important it is to remember that you are going to die so that you will always value the chance that you have in life to pursue the most important thing to you. This is important too as you always need to remember that you have limited time in life and if you believe in something good, you gotta go all the way possible to make it work. Life is too short to do something which makes you feel uncomfortable about yourself and some works which you think are meaningful should be your priority to do. Always listen to your heart and intuition to determine what is meaningful for you in your life as, Steve Jobs says, it somehow already knows what you want to become and everything else is secondary.

As for the phrase, "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish", Steve Jobs did not address the meaning of it in the speech. I think though that the meaning of the phrase is that we should always have a target on what is important in our life as being told several times in the speech while also disregard what the other people says when they tell you that it is impossible to achieve those life targets of yours. Universe has its own way to help people with determination and action to achieve their target and it is very important for us to go and do that so we don't regret what we do in our life in the later phase of it.

Here is the speech text in full. There is also the video when Steve Jobs gave the speech in the link for you who would rather watch it (quite long if you want to read them all, so maybe you can bookmark this page to read later if you want to read it and do not have the time now to finish).

Enjoy the speech and I hope you will get subtle life lessons in it like I feel I got from it.


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