In mid-November I flew out to Dubai to meet up with an ex-lover in the last chance saloon. Yes he lied and cheated on me before, but sometimes people change. Yes they do – honest. Sadly though, not him. He put me in a dangerous situation and then abandoned me. On my return home some people said they hoped I’d learned my lesson. What lesson is that then?
“You can’t trust people, you can’t afford to be naive, you shouldn’t travel alone, you should have checked things out more thoroughly, you should have…. should have…… should have…….”
Hey, hold on just a second there, what are you saying? That I shouldn’t take any risks? Is that how you live? Let me ask you something, when you’re on your death bed will you be glad you always played it safe?
It reminded of what Steve Jobs (founder of APPLE) said in 2005 when he addressed a group of University students, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. He took risks in business and love. He made mistakes but also tasted amazing success. Living sometimes in the bottom of dark valleys, but at other times soaring over the mountain tops. Here’s an extract from his speech that day:
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because 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. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
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 important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”
Steve Jobs died of cancer at age 56 after living a full and rewarding life, despite all the obstacles he had to surmount. And we should remember that Death stalks all of us, all of the time. Every hour, every minute, every second. You can ignore this or accept it. If you accept it, you can make Death your ally – this will ensure you try and live each day as though it’s your last.
It’s your life, only you can decide what to do with it. No one has the right to pass judgement on you because you don’t live like they do. I choose to stay hungry; it keeps me enthusiastic about life. I choose to be foolish; my foolishness keeps me open to opportunity and adventure. Rock on!#