Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

June 23, 2005

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, recently gave a commencement speech at Stanford University. It is the story of his life. He describes why dropping out of college led to the design of the computer interface as we know it today. Why getting fired by Apple the first time led to the creation of Pixar Studios (creators of Toy Story).

And how his close encounters with death led him to say, “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 other’s 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. ”

His closed with four words from the back cover of the final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Great words of wisdom from a great innovator.

To read the entire speech, go to http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

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George Will & Certitude

June 19, 2005

George Will, the well-known conservative columnist, recently addressed the University of Miami class of 2005. In his speech, he discusses the inherent dangers of certitude, and the power accidents. In his Newsweek article about his speech to these graduates, he says (excerpted):

“The more they appreciate the complexity and improbability of everyday things…the more they can understand the role that accidents, contingencies and luck have played in bringing the human story to its current chapter. And the more they understand the vast and mysterious indeterminacy of things, the more suited they will be to participate in writing the next chapter.

“This is so because the greatest threat to civility — and ultimately to civilization — is an excess of certitude. The world is much menaced just now by people who think that the world and their duties in it are clear and simple… It has been well said that the spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure that you are right. One way to immunize ourselves against misplaced certitude is to contemplate — even to savor — the unfathomable strangeness of everything, including ourselves.”

Although Will certainly did not have Goal-Free Living in mind when he made these statements, they do reinforce the power of living without certainty. When we know where we are going and how we want to get there, we are often blind to new experiences, missing out on new – potentially better – opportunities. With goals we are often certain of the outcome, the path, and the rationale. But sometimes allowing for the unknown, the mystery of life to unfold, can provide the greatest pleasures of all.

Read George Will’s complete article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7856556/site/newsweek/

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Quote of the Day

June 13, 2005

“Increasingly, our world consists of destinations and goals, with the times and spaces in between them eliminated by jet propulsion. Consequently, there is little satisfaction in reaching the goal, since a life full of endpoints is like trying to abate one’s hunger by eating merely the precise ends of a banana.” — Alan Watts

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