“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

In 2005, Apple founder Steve Jobs has quoted an aspirational slogan “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” during his famous commencement speech at Stanford University. It actually characterizes the conscious endeavor by a successful person to rival the stratagems that he connected with achieving his success. He believed that most daring choices are made from necessity. As hungry people work hard and foolish people attempt things that more reasonable don’t do. It suggests that necessity is not only the mother of discovery, but it can be simulated in order to spur new inventions.

“Stay hungry” means stay ambitious, keep looking for new ideas and opportunities. Many times, when people become successful, they relax and encash their former glory for the rest of their lives. Never be satisfied in life with your achievements, else you’ll eventually fall behind. To quote Herbert Spencer: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” So never ever stop learning and continuously look around for the next big opportunity. The day you get satisfied with your life, your life will come to a standstill in a world that’s always moving. It is often said, ‘good is the enemy of great’. Why? Because when things are good, the temptation is to become satisfied, to leave well enough alone and move on. Only through the relentless drive to overcome this temptation greatness can be achieved.

“Stay foolish” is about taking risks. The fool never knew that it was impossible, so they did it. You are here to learn, not to judge. Never hesitate in learning and always welcome knowledge. It’s easier to learn when you believe you know nothing. Our near and dear ones told us to play safe and follow the traditional path: go to school, get good grades, and get a good job. Life could be much broader and more interesting than that. Striking out and taking risks that other people find “foolish” is a compulsory step towards great success. Dropping out of an ivy league to start a company is foolish. Trying to become a professional musician is foolish. Dedicating your life to solving a hard math problem that has stumped everyone else is foolish. But how much more dreary would our world be if nobody took these risks, and achieved these feats? When you don’t know what the limit is, then you don’t have a limit.

Here are few points to “Be Hungary and Be Foolish” to be successful in life.

  • Gain knowledge: Albert Einstein once said that “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” So gain knowledge to challenge the very knowledge, not to accept it. So more often than not this is what a fool does – challenge the status quo. 
  • Be curious: Ask questions and listen because you never know what you might just learn. Embrace the joy of learning something new, all the time, especially when it means you feel foolish.
  • Be visionary: The visionaries automatically put themselves on the line; commits to something that hasn’t happened yet; takes a visible stand. That kind of action brings up fear. It’s much safer to mire ourselves in cynicism. We’ll never look foolish.”
  • Trust your gut: Believe your gut against the opinion of the world’s renowned market research firm is an act that can be easily interpreted as ‘Foolishness’. The audacity to throw away everything you are conditioned to believe in and responding to that faint inner voice is foolishness. Stay foolish!
  • Don’t live someone’s dream: Dream big, think big, and do big. Life is too short to stay in the small world of others’ dreams. You have all capacities to dream and execute them in real.
  • Stay natural: Don’t try to pretend anything. Be yourself even though it seems to be foolish/awkward/disgusting to others. There’s no need to worry about others. It would give you more time with yourself, your views and concept, thus increasing your creativity and happiness.
  • Be the change: According to Alvin Toffler “In the future, illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Steve Jobs, when says “Stay Foolish” means the process of Unlearning, so you can re-learn and keep pace with the change.
  • Be Uncommon: Try very, very hard not to know enough but not to be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. Those who are “foolish” may not have common sense. They might even make decisions or take actions that go against conventional wisdom. Sometimes you have to be that person; if you’re serious about changing the world. There are worse names that you can be called than “uncommon” or “unconventional.”

Jobs’ phrase is a timeless call to action, challenging his listeners to pursue their wildest ambitions with tremendous enthusiasm, without regard for the current situation. Be unreasonable, be rebellious, be craziest, be stupid, be a child, and go!

Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday. ~Steve Jobs

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