Dropping out was the best decision he ever made, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told Stanford University graduates yesterday.

He described the move as forcing him to be innovative, if only to find enough money to buy food, reports Associated Press.

Jobs also told 5,000 graduates of his battle with cancer - he revealed that at one point his doctor warned him that he had just six months to live, though a life-saving operation secured a better future.

This prompted Jobs to tell students: "Your time is limited so don't let it be wasted living someone else's life."

His decision to drop out led him to study calligraphy, a decision that he said helped him develop attention to detail and a focus on fonts: "If I had never dropped out I might never have dropped in on that calligraphy," he said.

The San Francisco Chronicle adds: "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," Jobs said.