Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

James Tew
2 min readSep 20, 2017


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish — Steve Jobs

I don’t know if Jobs was the first one to say this, but he said it to a group of kids at Stanford in 2005 and it is what I have sitting on the canvas next to my computer. Every time I sit down to write at home, in amongst the madness that is 5 kids, I stare at the canvas.

“How can I stay foolish?” “Am I hungry enough?”

Besides the fact that I just finished a giant serving of lamb shanks and mashed potato, staying hungry, or thirsty as many people refer to it, is difficult. I journaled this morning that I feel lost, like I don’t have a purpose at this point in time. To be honest, I think that is probably a pretty natural feeling for a lot of people. But I also think it is one that is probably pretty difficult and easy at the same time to break out of. If that can even be a possibility.

You see, I don’t think that we can stay hungry if we don’t have a purpose. Because when we have a purpose, or a mission as some may call it, we’re desperate to find ways to achieving it. We live and breathe that mission or purpose. It’s all we think about it, day and night. We’re so hungry for it, so thirsty to taste the sweet victory that comes with achieving our purpose that we remain foolish. We try to better ourselves or we try things that push us outside of the comfort one and all in the name of achieving our purpose.

A friend recently came to me with a similar problem. She felt like she was spinning her wheels. That others in her industry were getting different and better opportunities than her and she wanted to know how she could become better and receive similar opportunities.

My initial thoughts were, do less.

She was trying to take on too much. She had clouded her purpose, her mission, with all this superfluous stuff and work that wasn’t allowing her to see her true purpose. I know that sounds like a bit of hippy magic but think about it. When you’ve had moments of clarity where your purpose is so crystal clear that you know what you need to do next. How good does that feel? Now consider moments when that mission is clouded, when you can’t see it as clearly as before, how did that make you feel?

For me, at this point in time, it’s the latter.

So how do we get our focus back, remain hungry and stay foolish?

Do less.

Take time out of your day to just think. Journal (if you’ve never journaled before, just write something down, anything) and reflect on what has made you feel focused and good in the past month. Basically anything to reflect on what makes you feel focused. What topic/subject/job gave you complete and utter clarity?

Now go and do that.



James Tew

Dad of five. Naval Officer. Aspiring for consistent progress.