You Will Do Foolish Things…..

Quote from Whole Earth Catalogue by Steve Jobs: Stay hungry, stay foolish.

In 2005, Steve Jobs gave the commencement address at Stanford. There are many wonderful seeds of wisdom in this speech and the one that caught my imagination this time is at the end (watch the video below, 13:08). He closes by quoting the final Whole Earth catalogue.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

It brings to mind another wise fool, Nasrudin.


Mulla Nasrudin used to stand in the street on market days to be pointed out as an idiot. No matter how often people offered him a large and a small coin, he always chose the smaller piece. The crowd would laugh and laugh at the foolish, old man who couldn’t tell the difference between a more valuable and less valuable coin. Eagerly, one after another, they repeated the offer just to see him make the foolish choice.

One day, a kindly man said to him: “Mulla, why do you not take the bigger coin? If you do you will have more money and people will no longer laugh at you and call you a fool.”

“That may be true,” said Nasrudin, “but if I always take the larger coin, people will stop offering me money to prove that I am more idiotic than they are. Then I should have no money at all.”


The lesson here is not that money is more important than self-respect. For me, the message is that doing what you want in life can often make you look like a fool, but being afraid to be seen as foolish can prevent you from enriching your life.

The key is, know your purpose.

The Power of Purpose

When I know my purpose, nothing sways me, stops me or delays me in reaching my goal.  When I know my purpose, I have a secret knowledge that makes me as wise as Nasrudin, and as rich.

Having meaning and purpose in life is one of the essential keys to understanding how to be happy. How do I find my purpose?  My Why?

One of my favorite TED Talks is by Simon Sinek, called How Great Leaders Inspire Action. In it, he creates a visual explanation of the importance of knowing and communicating your Why. He calls it the Golden Circle.

The outer circle is What you do. The middle circle is How you do it. The inner circle is Why you do.

Your Golden Circle

To complete your own, I suggest you start with your What, the outer circle.  This is the easiest area to identify and it may contain one, two or more items.  Then, see if you can clearly state your How.

Finally, make a list of what is most important to you in life.  Think about what would get you out of bed every morning as if you were jet-fueled. Identifying your Why is the toughest part and you may need a supportive person, who can reflect back to you what you are saying.  It’s important that this person be skilled in stepping away from their own opinions in order to fully hear the themes you are communicating. An experienced story-listener can hear and see the elemental themes woven in your words.

The Last Word

When you know your Why, you may do foolish things. You may look foolish to others. And, you will have a bullet-proof belief in who you are and what you do. “Stay foolish, stay hungry.”

Both of these videos have been around for awhile – you may have already seen them. I guarantee if you take the 30+ minutes to re-watch, you will be rewarded with new, powerful insights and a little more fuel for your Why.




PS – When you need someone to listen and reflect a clearer story of yourself back to you, send me a message…