Who would have thought that one of the most powerful speeches to be transmuted on this blog would come from Justin Timberlake.
Not surprisingly, embedded in this speech is one of the greatest speeches of all time by the greatest president of all time: the man in the arena.
Timberlake’s message to all viewing, is to be willing to go into the arena, to struggle and fail.
And most of all, he wants to you to understand that being different is a good thing.
He says with authenticity that your critics do not count. They do not matter. That the naysayers are just that.
With all the doubts and struggles that you may have, he says to become the man in the arena.
STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH
by Justin Timberlake | Link to speech
Growing up in school no one ever called me anything close to an innovator. They called me different, they called me weird. They called me a couple other words I can’t say on TV.
So thankfully my mother taught me that being different was a good thing, that being different means you can make a difference…
I’m going to leave you with a couple of quotes that have stuck with me. 10 years ago a great innovator named Steve Jobs gave one of the most inspiring speeches ever at a college commencement. At the end, Steve Jobs quoted some powerful words he had seen as a young man that he wanted to pass on.
Those words were stay hungry, stay foolish.
Now if any of you seen some of the SNL stuff I’ve done before, you know I have no issue being foolish. And anyone that has had to deal with me in person knows that I’m always hungry…
When I was a teenager, I read some words that I found extremely powerful that I’ve been carrying with me ever since, and those words were from our 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, so just indulge me for a second:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
So, if you’re a young person, like I used to be, and you’re at home watching, and you are being called weird, you are being called different, or whatever the hell you are being called, I’m here tonight to tell you that your critics do not count.
Their words will fade. You won’t.
Stay hungry, stay foolish, dream, work hard, and maybe someday you’ll find yourself standing on a stage, and maybe someday, somebody will be giving you an award, calling you an innovator…