As our politicians make impassioned pronouncements about what was and what will be. As dreamers dream and visionaries imagine… We realize that while some of the pronouncements are true, a portion of the dreams may become reality, and a few of the visionaries will receive a platform to succeed – it’s all about the individual – you and me – picking ourselves up and rebuilding our careers and our businesses.
It’s about getting a job by getting off the unemployment line!
It’s about risk taking, self empowerment, and embracing an entrepreneur’s perspective.
During this period of grandiose gestures and lengthy speeches, we’re reminded of words spoken – and practiced – by a man who was as famous as many of the showcased politicians, and who approached the world with a practical approach attached to his impassioned perspective. I think about Steve Jobs and his most often referenced words: Hunger, Foolishness, Passion and Patience.
To be “Hungry” and “Foolish”:
Most men and women – young and old, have a wanting to achieve, to master, to improve. It’s an expression of the will of the human being – that which endowed him since his inception.
It’s the “foolish” part that’s more challenging! Foolishness in the context of one’s career means: Confidence, self-belief, daring and risk orientation. The number of people in this category is more limited. The “foolishness” Steve Jobs is talking about is: Acknowledging the risks and adversities in the new business or other effort a person is considering, understanding the seriousness of those risks, and still making the effort.
Foolishness, in this context, is not born of ignorance – it’s born of courage! It’s not a function of immaturity – it’s a function of intelligent understanding, coupled with serious belief in oneself and life. To put your faith in something and burn the bridge behind you, is the foolishness that makes for success. It is that which is demanded of each of us so that life is lived rather than passed through – so that the pages of one’s existence are torn and re-mended
memorably. It’s about fear, uncertainty, and all of the other uncomfortable things that make for accomplishment and notoriety.
The foolishness of certain leaders continues to be celebrated thousands of years after each lived. Steve Jobs will be celebrated and studied for decades – if not a century – for his unparalleled achievements. Foolishness is the common thread. We each have to look at our own “Foolishness Meter” and empower it so we can move our careers and companies forward again.
And then there were the two other terms: “Passion” and “Patience”.
“Passion” is the tool with which you identify where your foolishness must play out – for what, in what area, should your risk taking be focused. The passion of each individual lies impatiently immediately below the surface of his/her current understanding – waiting to be called out. It resides in your gut and your heart – as they whisper their yearning to your mind. These thoughts and feelings are no less an expression of each individual’s direction than any of the other expressions of his uniqueness he will make throughout his lifetime.
Overt truths can be misunderstood or ignored – as can the passion that emanates from the individual to himself. As the election year moves forward it’s a good time to do a “Passion Check” and make sure that your wants and interests are clear to you and are happening for you.
And finally: Patience – the most difficult and serious of all.
“I’m hungry and foolish, and I know where I want it to go. It took honesty, courage and a lot of panicked moments – but I know what I want and I’m committed to achieving it. Now you want me to be patient?”
The answer is: Yes.
A long term plan, commitment to process, and a near worshipping of detail, are the elements that make for a patient – and therefore successful execution.
There are many types of great men and women – some we respect and admire, and some we revere and emulate. Hunger, Foolishness, Passion and Patience are the threads that connect words to success.