By Michael Hirsch
“Stay hungry, stay foolish” to the graduation class of 2005 at Stanford University. His commencement speech can be viewed on YouTube. I want to make a slightly different interpretation of his words to you as you approach the last couple of weeks of school and begin winter break.Stay hungry. Now, I am not referring to ham, mashed potatoes and your favorite homemade pie, but challenging you to increase your appetite to grow as a person and leader. We want this upcoming break to be a season that you feed your dreams and further awaken your purpose in life.Most of you know that recently I just completed my second full Ironman triathlon race. Obviously, a person does not just wake up one morning and decide to compete in a 140.6 mile race. It takes months of training and preparation. During the last 3 months leading up to the race, my mornings would often begin at 3:45am. Yes, I am rolling my eyes with you about how early this is in the morning. It’s been said that if you want do something terrific with your life that you have to be willing to do what most people do not want to do.I would wake up that early so I could eat and give my body enough calories to endure the time I spent training. This part may be hard to understand, but on many of these mornings, I actually had to force myself to eat. But I knew that if I did not eat enough calories, I would do what they call, ‘bonk’ while I was training and would be passed out on the road… and have to call Selah to come and pick me up. That would be embarrassing!
I know that you currently are not training for an Ironman race, but you are training for something much bigger, running your race in life. At Loveworks, we do not want to see you bonk, but flourish as a young leader.
Stay hungry. How will you interpret this for yourself? Perhaps you could call up a mentor at Loveworks and ask her or him how you can feed yourself.
Stay hungry. You may need to ask your parents to spend some time at Hastings or Barnes and Noble to get a book for personal growth.
Stay hungry. Check out a Ted Talk on YouTube, or watch an episode of teenagers who have given a pitch on Shark Tank.
In closing, I will be brutally honest. What we are challenging you to do will not be easy. You may find yourself just like me at the breakfast table at 3:45am, not wanting to read but rather sleep. However, I never regretted a single time during a 4 hour run the calories that I consumed hours earlier that helped to sustain me during that effort. I believe the same will be for you. Making the decision to live and lead your life differently than your friends is a huge deal. It’s uncommon. You are running a race as a leader. Stay hungry. Grow. Come back to school in 2016 a different person. Recharged. Refreshed. Ready to dream bigger dreams.
Set a standard so high that it scares you.
We believe in you, more then you know!