2012: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”

The top of the New Year is ripe timing for new thinking, new ideas and new ways for engaging with the wonderful world around us. But in preparing for the new, we often subscribe to quick fix resolutions to patch the ugly habits we’ve formed. We then spend little time working to uncover the motives behind our unachieved growth forcing us to repeat an unforgiving cycle for resolve.

We approach this passage of time and space with an urgency to achieve positive personal change. In a world growing more accessible to ideas that can inspire us towards positive personal transformation, we need to recognize we have the tools we need to see the change that we want to see in ourselves.

In 2005, Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech tasking Stanford University graduates to “stay hungry and stay foolish” as they journeyed forward into their professional lives. Although 2011 marked the end of Jobs’ failed battle with Pancreatic Cancer, his vision for creating technologies that optimize our participation in the world is a testament to the artful way he lived and envisioned life for others. His vision spawned an open exchange of ideas enabling our society to become more culture centric than ever before. This is why Jobs will be beloved for generations to come.

The way the iPhone gives us access to a range of information is in some way similar to the way hip hop music transcended popular culture worldwide. Few can dismiss the impact hip hop music of our generation has had transcending differences and creating a cross cultural dialogue. No one has been at the forefront leading this cultural drive more than Hip Hop mogul Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter.

Similar to Jobs’ stay hungry, stay foolish credo, Jay-Z shared a similar idea of living artfully during an interview with Oprah. During the interview, Jay-Z shared that “not trying to be great every second … just being a bit silly” is the way he’s achieved success in his multilayered career.

Both Jobs and Jay-Z share inspiring rags-to-riches stories. Although their childhoods couldn’t predict the level of success they’ve achieved, they’ve each inspired numerous cultural enterprises that have encouraged global participation and inclusive thinking. There’s a lot to take away from the sage teachings of Jobs and Jigga Man. At the core of their message is a timeless reminder of how to live an authentic life.

So to kick off your New Year’s resolution, here’s a Steve Jobs and Jay-Z guide to Staying Hungry and Staying Foolish for 2012:

  • Learn More: Approach learning with a ferocious hunger.  Seek out new experiences that are different, unfamiliar or sometimes uncomfortable.
  • Be Present: Listen more to your authentic inner voice. Channel out the outside distractions and become more aware of the diversity around us.
  • Have Fun: Get out of your apartment. Exercise more. Dance and sing in front of your mirror and be silly by all means!

The New Year always smacks us in the face with the reminder that we need to stay hungry and stay foolish in order to develop all-encompassing habits that propel us towards greater excellence. But don’t wait around for the turn of every New Year to sharpen your swagger and renew your commitment to a better you. Carve out time now to go to the library and brush up on your favorite subject. Explore different music on your iTunes. Plug into your smartphone calendar time to go out for a walk in the park. And don’t forget to do it all with passion, while you bounce to some ‘Big Pimpin’ of course.

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