Stay Hungry…Stay Foolish
In 2005, during a Stanford graduation ceremony speech, Mr. Steve Jobs made several statements that have really stuck with me. He said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition…” He finished the speech with a phrase that has become quite talked about. “ Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” He said. While this likely will have different meanings to different people, here is what it means to me.
Entrepreneurs, by nature, are people who think and see outside of the proverbial box. We look at a problem, a product, or an idea and the gears of innovation and imagination begin to turn fiercely within our heads, almost automatically. Sometimes, though, we can get so used to seeing the world from this perspective that we forget how unique and valuable of a thing it really is. People often give into the foolish urge to become quite complacent, even while doing something great. This, it seems, can be a downfall to progress, success, and even living life. In order to combat this, we have to stay hungry.
As I see it, hunger is the drive that keeps us coming back for more, instead of thinking that what we have is sufficient for the long term. Whether you are talking about a marriage relationship, a business career, or a tech product, the logic is the same. You have to constantly “feed” the beast. If, or when, the hunger ends, the feeding stops as well…resulting in weakness and eventually death in that area. Simply put, if you lose the hunger, you lose the passion and the game is over, whether you acknowledge it or not.
Each year that I grow older, I find that the expectations placed upon me by society are higher and more rigid than ever before. Long gone are the days where failures were simply chalked up to inexperience or youthful exuberance. As this happens, the pressure to “be safe” or “make prudent choices” is also greater. While I have learned to be a bit more strategic about the way that I play the game, foolishness is still is at the center of nearly everything. Holding on to this foolishness is what gives me the ability to go against the grain and ignore the so-called “logic” that something is impossible to achieve.
Staying foolish, it seems, is simply always having the courage and the guts to follow something that looks or seems stupid to other people. Follow your heart, follow your intuition, and follow your dreams…no matter how foolish they might appear to others.
[Image via guccio/Flickr]
I want more stuff like this!