“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” I was reminded of these words from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Sanford University as I watched the new Steve Jobs movie. The movie simultaneously portrays him as a heartless opportunist and a creative visionary. Regardless of the characterization, Steve Jobs was a fascinating guy who brought us the likes of MacBook, ipods, ipads and iphones. The movie depicted him as algorithm obsessed and relentless in his pursuit of the perfect product design. Geniuses are, by their very nature, a little lopsided. And, Steve Jobs was, apparently, pretty lopsided- brilliantly creative and interpersonally dysfunctional.
Stay Hungry…stay eager. Stay foolish…try new things, step out of your comfort zone. This speech feels a little ironic. It was spoken by a college drop-out, who had recently been given a death sentence. He was delivering it to a group of highly educated, hopeful, 22 year olds on the precipice of launching their lives.
“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” He went on to counsel…
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I don’t think this advice has a time stamp or an age limit. Baby Boomer women, of whom I’m one, have lived a significant percentage of their adult years within very prescribed lines. I’m working on a book entitled, Be Brave. Lose the Beige: A Coloring Book for Living Outside the Lines which encourages women to be brave and step outside some of those lines to experience more playfulness in their lives. I guess that is why I found this speech so inspiring…it’s how I feel as well. As we age into our 50s 60s, and 70s don’t settle for living someone else’s life. I don’t believe it is ever too late to pursue our postponed dreams and follow our hearts and intuition.