Steve Jobs, ex-CEO of Apple Computer & Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005, delivered one of the most inspiring commencement speech at Stanford University.

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid – Epictetus

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish excerpt from the 2005 Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

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 1960s, 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.

If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters. Don’t wish to seem knowledgeable, and if some regard you as important, distrust yourself ~Epictetus.

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.

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid – Epictetus

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish is a very profound and thought provoking statement. As Mark Twain quipped:

What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.

In. his Book, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, Author John C. Maxwell shares the following thoughts on Staying Foolish and Staying Hungry:

Creativity requires a willingness to look stupid. It means getting out on a limb—knowing that the limb often breaks! Creative people know these things and still keep searching for new ideas. They just don’t let the ideas that don’t work prevent them from coming up with more ideas that do work.

Creativity is being able to see what everybody else has seen and think what nobody else has thought so that you can do what nobody else has done.

Author and creativity expert Ernie Zelinski says, “Creativity is the joy of not knowing it all. The joy of not knowing it all refers to the realization that we seldom if ever have all the answers; we always have the ability to generate more solutions to just about any problem. Being creative is being able to see or imagine a great deal of opportunity to life’s problems. Creativity is having options.

Remember that the great wise men of the past held no respect for today’s conventions, and neither will the great men of the future.

In his book, The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch advise you stay stupid:

The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled the plug before he even began.

Entrepreneur’s indispensable allies:

She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate. Don’t think. Act.

All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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