Same [Quote]. Different Day.
While I was writing the other day, one of the words that trickled out on the page through my stream of consciousness was “foolish”. It wasn’t a word I had set out to type but there it was and it seemed to mostly fit. Appropriate or not, the word triggered something in me.
The word started rolling around in my head. I was trying to picture it in some context but couldn’t readily place it? After a moment or two, it grew to “stay foolish.” Which I could then plug into Google and got “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Along with the accompanying photo, I recalled where I’d heard it before.
It was from Steve Jobs’ celebrated commencement address at Stanford.
Thinking about it set off memories and emotions that come along with his lore and the wisdom of that talk.
As I reflected on it a minute more, the quote became more relevant to part of where I’m at right now in life. Having entered my thirty-second year of life a couple months back, I’ve taken some time to reflect on where I’ve come from, what has changed, and what is the same. Its been enjoyable but has resulted in some goal setting around what I want for myself.
One softer thing I’ve thought about and want for myself is to keep my spirit young at heart.
While I imagine many would say I’m one of the more playful, energetic, and involved individuals they know, I have taken note of and felt that slowly shift over time. And to a degree, I’m ok with that. I look at much of what my life is at 32 and I like it. I don’t need to be an partier I was, more scattered and haphazardly emotional, or less introspective as I was a decade ago. But there are elements of who I was then that are important to retain and reframe within my current life chapter. There were different limits I pushed then than I might push now. And most of those again make sense. But where have I changed or compromised that went too far? Are there changes I’ve made that I’m supposed to have because that is what adults do? What external and internal pressures are weighing on me?
And most important, I think with aging for many comes a loss of adventure. We might lose motivation to “find our edge”. The ordinary becomes more commonplace and the comfort zone our ever-present ally. Less risks taken. Fewer memories made and fewer stories to tell. One day looks the same as the next, which looks much like the one before.
I think one of the ultimate things that Jobs was thinking of in his speech is regret. Avoiding regret by embracing what we dream about and chasing afte it relentlessly. If we do not live a full and meaningful life, we can look up and in a hurry, it has passed us by. Then we are left with regret and angry with ourselves. I once heard,
“forgiveness means giving up all hope for better past.” Lily Tomlin
Let us not have to abandon hope for a better past by living our todays. It won’t be all that long before December 5th rolls back around and I’ll be 33. What will I have done to know that it was a year well-lived? What joys and obstacles will I see and know that I have overcome?
If we chase our dreams, if we live on the edge, regret will become a stranger. And while much of this can sound lofty, remember that adventure and excitement do not require traveling to the ends of the Earth though that can be fun. Look for adventures and opportunity around each corner.
To tie one end off. As much as I’ve called for staying young at heart. Getting older, gaining experiences, and growing is often a privilege. It comes with wisdom and new opportunities. Its not a bad thing. Just something to keep top of mind. And while you’re at it, you can have a laugh about it too.
Go Forth Boldly.