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我很幸運嗎?我很早就發現我喜歡做什麼。20歲 時,我跟Steve Wozniak在爸媽的車庫裡成立蘋果電腦。我們非常努力,10年後,蘋果從車庫裡的我們兩個人,變成一家營收20億美元、員工超過4,000人的公司。 前一年,我們才剛推出最棒的作品——麥金塔電腦,而我剛過30歲,然後我被公司炒魷魚。怎麼被你自己創辦的公司炒魷魚呢?嗯……隨著蘋果成長,我找了一個 很有能力的人跟我一起經營公司,一開始很順遂,但是後來,我們對未來的願景逐漸分歧,最後只好拆夥。董事會決定站在他那邊,所以30歲時,我出局了,而且 是公開出局。 曾經是我人生所有重心的一切都沒了,我幾乎被擊倒。

有幾個月,我不知道做什麼好。我覺得我讓企業家的前輩們失望了,我丟 掉 了交付在我手中的權杖。我跟David Packard(惠普科技創辦人之一)與Bob Noyce(英特爾創辦人之一)碰面,向他們道歉,我把事情搞砸了。我是一個公開的失敗案例,所以我幾乎想逃離矽谷。然而我慢慢領悟,我仍然喜歡我本來做 的事,我在蘋果發生的轉折,一點都沒有改變這一點,我被否定了,但我仍然有熱情,我決定從頭開始。

當時我沒有察覺,不過後來被蘋果炒魷魚 變成我人生中最棒的遭遇。成功的壓力重新被創業的輕鬆取代,每件事都少一點確定,讓我進入人生中最有創意的階段。

接 下來5年,我又成立一 家NeXT公司、一家皮克斯(Pixar)公司,還有跟一位很有魅力的女性談戀愛,後來她變成我的太太。皮克斯創作出世界第一部全電腦動畫電影《玩具總動 員》,目前仍是世界最成功的動畫公司。值得一提的是,蘋果後來買下了NeXT,我重新回到蘋果,而我在NeXT發展的技術,成為蘋果後來復興的核心,我跟 Laurene也有了幸福的家庭。

如果我沒被蘋果開除,我滿確定這一切都不會發生。它像是很苦的試藥,但是我想病人需要它。有時候,老 天 會拿磚塊打你的頭,但不要失去信心。我很確信,能讓我繼續走下去的唯一理由,就是我愛我所做的事。所以你必須找到你的所愛,不管是對工作、對愛情都一樣。 你的工作會填滿你一大塊人生,唯一能真正滿足的方法,就是去做你認為偉大的事情。要做出偉大的事,唯一方法就是做你愛做的事。如果你還沒發現這是什麼,繼 續觀察,不要停止。用你全心的力量,找到時,你就會知道。就像所有偉大的關係,隨時間展延,事情只會愈來愈好,所以繼續找,直到找到,不要停頓。

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 returned 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.