Tetaplah Lapar, Tetaplah Bodoh

Ada yang tau Steve Jobs? Ya, beliau adalah salah satu pendiri Apple Computer dan juga Pixar Animation Studios yang sangat terkenal itu. Beliau adalah salah satu orang paling sukses menurut gue. Tapi kesuksesannya itu nggak gampang ngedapetinnya, beliau bener-bener harus jatuh bangun sampai akhirnya berada di puncak kesuksesannya. 

Ada sebuah kutipan yang begitu bermakna  dan juga menarik, yang beliau sampaikan dalam salah satu pidatonya, yaitu "tetaplah lapar, tetaplah bodoh". Berikut ini adalah isi dari kata sambutan yang disampaikan oleh Steve Jobs dalam sebuah upacara wisuda tanggal 12 Juni 2005.

You've got to find what you love

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 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.

Kurang lebih ringkasan dari yang beliau sampaikan itu gini:

Saya diberi kehormatan untuk bersama kalian di salah satu universitas terbaik dunia. Saya tidak pernah lulus kuliah. Bahkan, sesungguhnya inilah saat terdekat saya terlibat dalam suatu upacara wisuda. Hari ini saya ingin berbagi tiga cerita dalam kehidupan saya.

Cerita pertama adalah mengenai menghubungkan titik-titik. Saya putus kuliah dari Reed College setelah 6 bulan pertama, tapi saya tetap ada di kampus selama 18 bulan berikutnya sebelum saya benar-benar berhenti. Saat itu saya memutuskan untuk mengambil kelas kaligrafi. Saya belajar tipe tulisan serif dan sanserif, tentang meragamkan jarak antara kombinasi huruf yang berbeda, tentang apa yang membuat para tipografis menjadi hebat. Saat itu sepertinya tidak ada satu pun dari yang saya pelajari itu akan bermanfaat dalam kehidupan saya nantinya.

Namun sepuluh tahun kemudian, ketika kami merancang komputer Macintosh pertama, semuanya saya ingat kembali. Hasilnya, Mac menjadi komputer pertama dengan tipografi yang indah. Andai saya tidak pernah putus kuliah dan kemudian ikut kelas kaligrafi, Mac tidak akan punya beragam tulisan atau huruf yang berjarak secara proporsional. Dan karena Windows hanya meniru Mac, sepertinya tidak ada PC yang akan memiliki tipografi indah.

Tentu saja, tidak mungkin menghubungkan titik-titik itu ke masa depan saat saya masih di kampus. Tapi terlihat sangat-sangat jelas jika ditinjau sepuluh tahun kemudian. Jadi, kita harus percaya bahwa titik-titik itu suatu saat akan terhubung di masa mendatang. Kita harus percaya pada sesuatu---insting, takdir, kehidupan... apalah. Pendekatan ini tidak pernah mengecewakan saya, bahkan telah membuat semua perubahan dalam kehidupan saya.

Cerita kedua saya adalah mengenai cinta dan kehilangan. Saya merasa beruntung karena saya menemukan apa yang sangat ingin saya lakukan dalam hidup sejak usia yang sangat muda. Woz dan saya memulai Apple di garasi orangtua saya saat saya berumur 20 tahun. Kami bekerja dengan keras, dan dalam 10 tahun Apple telah berkembang dari hanya kami berdua di garasi menjadi sebuah perusahaan senilai 2 miliar dolar dengan lebih dari 4.000 pegawai. Kami baru saja meluncurkan karya terbaik kami - Macintosh - setahun yang lalu, dan saya baru saja berusia 30. Kemudian saya dipecat.

Apa yang telah menjadi fokus kehidupan saya telah hilang dan itu sangat menyakitkan. Saya benar-benar tidak tahu apa yang harus saya lakukan selama beberapa bulan. Tapi secara perlahan ada sesuatu yang mulai terpikirkan. Saya telah ditolak, namun saya masih mencintai apa yang saya kerjakan. Jadi, saya memutuskan untuk memulai lagi. Saya tidak sadar saat itu, tapi ternyata dipecat dari Apple merupakan hal terbaik yang pernah terjadi dalam diri saya. Beban berat menjadi sukses digantikan dengan perasaan enteng menjadi orang baru lagi. Hal ini membebaskan saya untuk memasuki salah satu periode paling kreatif dalam kehidupan saya.

Selama lima tahun berikutnya, saya memulai sebuah perusahaan bernama NeXT dan sebuah perusahaan lain bernama Pixar Animation Studios, yang kini menjadi studio animasi paling sukses di dunia. Dalam salah satu peristiwa yang luar biasa, Apple membeli NeXT, saya kembali ke Apple, dan teknologi yang kami kembangkan di NeXT menjadi jantung kehidupan Apple.

Dipecat dari Apple memang sebuah pil pahit buat saya, namun saya pikir hal ini memang diperlukan. Terkadang kehidupan memukul kita dengan sangat keras. Jangan hilang kepercayaan. Saya yakin bahwa satu-satunya yang membuat saya bertahan adalah saya mencintai apa yang saya lakukan. Kalian harus menemukan apa yang kalian cintai, dan satu-satunya cara untuk menghasilkan sesuatu yang luar biasa adalah mencintai apa yang kalian lakukan.

Cerita saya yang ketiga adalah mengenai kematian. Mengingat bahwa saya akan mati suatu saat nanti adalah hal yang paling penting yang saya temukan untuk menolong saya membuat keputusan-keputusan penting dalam hidup. Sekitar setahun yang lalu saya didiagnosis mengidap kanker. Para dokter memberitahu saya bahwa hampir dipastikan ini jenis kanker yang tidak dapat disembuhkan, dan harapan hidup saya hanya sekitar tiga sampai enam bulan lagi. Tapi kemudian saya menjalani operasi dan baik-baik saja hingga saat ini. Itu adalah saat terdekat saya menghadapi kematian, dan saya berharap hanya itulah hingga beberapa dekade mendatang.

Karena sudah melalui tahapan ini, saya bisa lebih yakin mengatakan bahwa kematian adalah sebuah konsep yang berguna dan murni intelektual. Kematian adalah agen perubahan kehidupan. Ia memberikan jalan untuk yang baru dengan  menyingkirkan yang lama. Kali ini yang baru adalah kalian, namun suatu hari tidak lama dari sekarang, kalian akan menjadi tua dan tersingkirkan. Waktu kalian terbatas, jadi jangan habiskan dengan hidup dalam kehidupan orang lain. Jangan diperangkap oleh dogma. Jangan biarkan opini orang lain mengaburkan suara hati kalian. Dan yang terpenting, milikilah keberanian untuk mengikuti kata hati dan intuisimu.

Ketika saya masih muda, ada sebuah terbitan luar biasa bernama Katalog Seluruh Dunia, seperti Google dalam bentuk buku 35 tahun sebelum Google muncul. Buku itu dilengkapi dengan alat bantu yang keren dan catatan yang bagus. Pada halaman belakang edisi terakhir mereka, ada sebuah foto mengenai jalan perkampungan waktu dini hari, jalan yang mungkin akan kalian ikuti jika suka berpetualang. Di bawahnya ada kata-kata "Tetaplah Lapar. Tetaplah Bodoh". Itu adalah pesan perpisahan mereka sebelum mereka pergi. Dan saya selalu berharap hal itu untuk saya sendiri. Dan sekarang, kalian para lulusan baru, saya mengharapkan itu untuk kalian.

Tetaplah lapar. Tetaplah bodoh.

Begitu banyak pesan yang tersimpan dalam kata sambutan yang beliau sampaikan itu, mulai dari lakukanlah sesuatu yang kalian sukai, jangan diperangkap oleh dogma, jangan pernah putus asa, sampai tetaplah lapar, tetaplah bodoh. 

Orang lapar adalah orang yang paling mampu mensyukuri arti sesuap nasi. Orang lapar juga tahan banting dan akan berusaha dengan segenap kemampuannya untuk meraih kehidupan yang lebih baik. Sedangkan, orang bodoh tidak punya prasangka dan terbuka terhadap hal-hal baru. Orang yang senantiasa merasa dirinya bodoh tidak akan pernah berhenti untuk belajar. Jadi, tetaplah lapar, tetaplah bodoh.

Transkrip Translate diambil dari Buku Kubik Leadership karya Farid Poniman, Indrawan Nugroho, dan Jamil Azzaini