“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” - Lessons by Steven Jobs

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Whole Earth Catalogue

Whole Earth Catalogue

I’ve watched the following video at least 7 times and I did not get tired of watching it because there are so many insightful things in this 14 minute speech (it does not matter if you watch it now or after you read the post. The video is at the bottom of this post).

Without any exaggeration this is by far one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever seen and heard in my life. And now I want to extract important lessons we can all take away from this video presentation.

Most of us do not really know what we want to do with our lives. Steven Jobs, the founder and the current CEO of Apple Inc., is no exception.

Steven Jobs delivers his presentation in three main parts: 1) Connecting the Dots; 2) Love and Loss, and; 3) Death.

Steve never graduated from a college nor did he see how college education would help him figure out what he wanted to do with his life. But looking backwards, as Steven says, he “trusted that it would all work out ok”. You have to trust in something; be it your gut, destiny, life, karma … whatever.

As human beings, we all have fears. Let’s face it. It’s normal. It would not be normal if we feared nothing. The question is how do we cope with our fears that so often prevent us from doing what we want to do with our lives?

But, Steven says that “something that seems scary may be one of the best decisions you ever have made”. And that’s so true for many successful individuals the history of human kind has seen. Many scientists, psychologists and motivational coaches say that fear is normal, and we should not resist it, but on the contrary “we need to dance with it”. Don’t fight it, accept it.

So, when we are on a path to achieving our goals things are “not all romantic” as Steve puts it. A fonder of KFC, Colonel Sanders, was refused 1,009 times before his chicken recipe was embraced by other businesses. Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got his financing. Edison and Honda failed multiple times, but none of these people gave up and that is the most important decision one can make.

I loved Steve’s metaphorically speaking “you can’t connect the dots; you can only connect them looking backwards”. This means, as he continued, that “you have to trust the dots [the important stages of your life] will somehow connect in your future. Belief is what gives us confidence and courage not to give up on our dreams.

Are you looking for something you love? Are you open to the opportunities and possibilities? Steven says that he was lucky to find he truly loves early on in his life. In other words, and as Po Peabody would put it, “he was smart enough to know that he was getting lucky”. He says he was convinced that the only thing that kept him going is that he loved what he did. “You have got to find what you love.”

Here is another powerful statement:
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only great work is to love what you do … If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Keep looking. Don’t settle.”

On page 34 of Notes from a Friend by Anthony Robbins, he mentions this saying:
Success is the result of good judgment
Good judgment is the result of experience
Experience is often the result of bad judgment

When painful things happen to us, which they do, it is then when we have to accept them and move on. We should not focus on the problem but must seek a solution. Quite often a painful experience result in a success story and with this respect Steve says that “getting fired from Apple was the best that could have ever happened to him”.

I also love this saying “the heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again”. In other words, when you fall or fail, you must get up quickly and exhibit a great sense of courage and start all over even more enthusiastically. It is similar to how he stated it: “Sometimes, life is going to hit you on the head with the brick. Don’t lose faith.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” This awareness sends powerful messages to your brain to perform excellently and make our best effort to succeed.

In the end I love these three statements:

“If today were the last day of my life would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

“Follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

“Stay hungry, Stay Foolish”

Here is the video.

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4 Responses to ““Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” - Lessons by Steven Jobs”

  1. PeterNo Gravatar says:

    October 15th, 2008 at 8:28 am


  2. suelaNo Gravatar says:

    October 17th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I should admit that it was just great. I really loved it, specially the part ” If it was the last day of your life, would you be doing the same thing you are doing?”
    It is very pragmatic, and that’s the best part of it.

  3. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    October 20th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed it. I also think this is very powerful.

  4. Shrestha/Jagat ManNo Gravatar says:

    October 24th, 2008 at 2:09 am

    This is the way of thinking about life to succeed. This can gear to change the style of life and work. So marvolous. People will be inspired by reading this message. This is the vigourous tonic to boost the happiness of life.

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