“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” With those words, Steve Jobs ended what has been called THE best commencement address ever, at Stanford in 2005. See what he meant by that advice. Watch, listen and reflect.
Don’t Be Foolish?
Maybe today’s the perfect day to reflect on the importance of being foolish. Today is April Fools Day and it’s got me wondering why we think foolish thinking and foolish acts are such a bad thing.
Things we hear about foolishness:
Penny wise, pound foolish
Don’t be foolish
That’s a foolish idea
You’re a foolish woman
Just foolish pride
That’s foolish thinking
If you do that, you’ll look foolish
We definitely get steered away from being foolish and taught it’s wrong and bad to be foolish.
Steve Jobs Was Foolish
I recently finished the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and was left amazed at how complex a man Jobs was. He was undoubtably a world-class jerk, insensitive and rude. If you read the book, you’ll surely come to the same conclusion.
He was also a genius.
Do you own an iPod, iPhone, Mac or iPad?
Then you’ve enjoyed the mark of that genius – from the beauty and quality of the packaging, to the simplicity, functionality, intuitive cleverness of the way the product works.
When I bought a Mac and switched over from the PC world to the Mac world, I felt like I’d changed my political party, my world view, my dominant brain hemisphere . . . the shift was that big for me.
It felt like I’d gone from seeing the world as black and white, in straight lined logic to a creative perspective of beauty and possibility.
Jobs Was a Jerk – And He Blessed Our World
I didn’t like discovering it, but it’s true that Jobs was a jerk.
My brother even confirmed it!
My brother, Jimmy ( who can also be quite a jerk sometimes), met Jobs way back when he and Steve Wozniak were dreaming up the first Apple.
My brother said, “Jobs was the biggest A$$hole I’ve ever met.”
This speech is inspiring – and according to the book, Jobs wrote it himself, after lots of anxiety about what to say. It differs from the typical formal commencement address, full of inspiring quotations and advice.
Instead, Steve tells three stories from his life and the lessons he learned from each of them.
While I don’t necessarily recommend the book about Steve Jobs, it was fascinating to learn more about the man, his life and the development of all the Apple products.
Let’s get back to being foolish.
When I look around at the accomplishments in our world – the enormous bridges, even freeway overpasses – that we come to take for granted. At the buildings. At works of art, great movies, books worth reading. Airplanes, cars, electronic equipment.
I think every one of those awesome accomplishments must have seemed foolish to many around the one who kept dreaming. Who kept pushing to find a builder, a publisher, a producer.
You can accomplish great things.
But not if you’re afraid of looking foolish. Of feeling foolish. Of being told you’re foolish.
Join the Conversation!
I’ve love to know what it means to you: Stay hungry, stay foolish.
In what way are you “hungry” and searching to be fed?
How are you fearing you’ll look foolish, so you’re holding back.
How are you daring to be foolish?