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 of how college was going to help me figure it out, and here I was, spending all 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 far more interesting. 十七年后,我上大学了,但是我很无知地选了一所差不多和斯坦福一样贵的学校,几乎花掉我那蓝领阶层养父母一生的积蓄。六个月后,我觉得不值得。我看不出自己以后要做什么,也不晓得大学会怎样帮我指点迷津,而我却在花销父母一生的积蓄。所以我决定退学,并且相信没有做错。一开始非常吓人,但回忆起来,这却是我一生中作的最好的决定之一。从我退学的那一刻起,我可以停止一切不感兴趣的必修课,开始旁听那些有意思得多的课。 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 five-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven 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. 事情并不那么美好。我没有宿舍可住,睡在朋友房间的地上。为了吃饭,我收集五分一个的旧可乐瓶,每个星期天晚上步行七英里到哈尔-克里什纳庙里改善一下一周的伙食。我喜欢这种生活方式。能够遵循自己的好奇和直觉前行后来被证明是多么的珍贵。让我来给你们举个例子吧。 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 sans-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. 当时的里德大学提供可能是全国最好的书法指导。校园中每一张海报,抽屉上的每一张标签,都是漂亮的手写体。由于我已退学,不用修那些必修课,我决定选一门书法课上上。在这门课上,我学会了“serif”和"sans-serif"两种字体、学会了怎样在不同的字母组合中改变字间距、学会了怎样写出好的字来。这是一种科学无法捕捉的微妙,楚楚动人、充满历史底蕴和艺术性,我觉得自己被完全吸引了。 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, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. 当时我并不指望书法在以后的生活中能有什么实用价值。但是,十年之后,我们在设计第一台 Macintosh计算机时,它一下子浮现在我眼前。于是,我们把这些东西全都设计进了计算机中。这是第一台有这么漂亮的文字版式的计算机。要不是我当初在大学里偶然选了这么一门课,Macintosh计算机绝不会有那么多种印刷字体或间距安排合理的字号。要不是Windows照搬了 Macintosh,个人电脑可能不会有这些字体和字号。

If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. 要不是退了学,我决不会碰巧选了这门书法课,个人电脑也可能不会有现在这些漂亮的版式了。 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--because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference. 当然,我在大学里不可能从这一点上看到它与将来的关系。十年之后再回头看,两者之间关系就非常、非常清楚了。你们同样不可能从现在这个点上看到将来;只有回头看时,才会发现它们之间的关系。所以你必须相信,那些点点滴滴,会在你未来的生命里,以某种方式串联起来。你必须相信一些东西——你的勇气、宿命、生活、因缘,随便什么——因为相信这些点滴能够一路连接会给你带来循从本觉的自信,它使你远离平凡,变得与众不同。





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