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Staying Focused – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Watch your thoughts for they become words,
watch your words for they become actions,
watch your actions, for they become habits,
watch your habits for they become your character,
watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stay Hungry – Stay Foolish

It starts with passion. We find our passion, our purpose the one thing that lights us up every day, and we begin taking our first steps towards the journey to success, marching along the path with fire and excitement.

But this passion can only take us so far. Eventually, the fire starts to extinguish slowly and our excitement fades. Many of us quit, overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the goal, feeling crushed, conquered and defeated, but the successful ones keeping marching forward, by a never-ending supply of sheer determination, focus and drive. Despite the many obstacles they face, they have the extra ammunition that many others lack. They have hunger. This is what drives them. This is what keeps them on the right path. They want it more above all else. It gives them the ability to look past the obstacles, the setbacks, the hard work, the fears and the failures.

Hunger is a hard thing to hold onto in the face of uncertainty and hard times, but there are ways to fuel the hunger, stay motivated and keep the fire lighting. Facing the challenge, understand the obstacles and eliminate the destructive habits are a way to stay on track of your goals.

Never be satisfied, and always push yourself.
The late Steve Jobs, a technology visionary is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. His sheer passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age.

Jobs was a hippy, dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. The late founder revealed in a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 why he dropped out of college — and why he thought it was one of the best things he ever did. Steve Jobs wasn’t an inventor, he wasn’t a code writer, he wasn’t a business man, he wasn’t a designer. Steve Jobs was a visionary. He just saw things and he went for them.

He gave advice to the students on life, chasing their dreams and obliterating fear. He told 3 stories, the first one on connecting the dots, the second about love and loss and the last story about death. You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

On Connecting the Dots

Jobs dropped out of college and accidentally joined a calligraphy course. He had no idea how this would benefit his career. He was just interested in it. But 10 years later, when he designed the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to him. And they designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If he had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

On Love and Loss

He didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to Jobs. It allowed him to start over again and this was when he became most creative in his life.

During the next five years, he created a company called NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would then become his wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and jobs returned to Apple and he had a family.

“I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle”

On Death

Jobs suffered a health scare of pancreatic cancer and it was at this stage that he began to look at life and death and the short time we have. He realized that all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“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.”

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.