Stay Hungry

Be more like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs, and Dee Snider!!! You might be asking yourself, What the heck do Arnold, Steve, and Dee have to do with each other? Well, the simple answer is that their commonality may not be immediately apparent. However, there is one thing that is easily figured out. All of these men were (and are) a big success in life. If you dig even deeper, you will find something in common between all three guys… They were all hungry. I don’t mean hungry as in needing food or drink… I mean hungry as in a zest and zeal for life that led them on a daily basis to pound the pavement looking for new and better ways to improve and succeed. That is my kind of hungry!!! Let’s learn a thing or two from each of these people:

Cracking open Steve Jobs’ biography, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, I was instantly mesmerized and couldn’t stop reading it. The book covers the entire life of one of my idols, Steve Jobs. A second idol, who impacted me just as much as Steve, was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately for me, Arnold’s autobiography, Total Recall, was recently released too. So, I read it. I can tell you that both of the books were amazing to me. I have heard plenty of harsh words about both men and about both books

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. That said, I found them both inspirational and incredibly motivational. I haven’t read Dee’s biography and I’m not even sure if one exists. However, if he or someone else did write a book at Dee, I bet it’s killer!

Regardless of what you think about Steve, Arnold, and Dee, or how you feel about their lives and/or books, I think they are all amazing men who fought very hard to achieve their dreams. For this reason they will remain my idols and I will continue to believe in myself with their inspiration.

Back in circa 1977 I first saw Arnold in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the “most perfectly developed physique.” I had never seen anyone so muscular and developed. It was unreal seeing that a human being was capable of such sheer size and muscularity. This brief glimpse in time has stuck with me for my entire life and I can still remember seeing that photo. Years later, I use Pumping Iron the movie as a backdrop when I do my weight lifting. Also, I have pictures of Arnold (among other lifters) in my basement gym. To me – Arnold was, and still is, the bodybuilding King.

Only a couple of years later, when we bought our first home computer, I was introduced to Steve Jobs. Between Steve and Arnold I was a changed child, and later changed man. Finally a few years later, Twisted Sister came out with “I Wanna Rock” and I was again inspired!

As I am prone to do, I digress. Where I was going with this is that you need to have dreams and you need to work daily to achieve them. Hmmm… Actually, you do not need to have them. You need air, water, and food to survive. “Dreams” is merely a want. Ahhh… Now I’ve uncovered a truth. Do you want to improve? I can tell you unequivocally that I do. As a matter-of-fact I think it is essential to my being. That’s where I was going with this. Many of us get into a set state, become complacent, and no longer worry about getting any better. You need to make a conscious effort if you want to improve.

Did that make any sense?

Now for the correlation… In Arnold’s book, he mentions one of his early movies, Stay Hungry. In Steve’s book, Isaacson talks about a commencement speech that Steve gave at Stanford University. He finished the speech with, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

I dunno about you, but those two sentences sum it up for me!

If you are looking for words of encouragement while struggling through something, think about Steve Jobs’ final words in that speech.

Clearly I know that Arnold’s movie, and Steve’s sentences have nothing to do with each other, but what they did was spark a feeling inside me and I connected (for the first time in my life) the two idols I had built my life around. Weird, right? The hilarious part of this is that Dee is a third person in my “stay hungry” pyramid of inspiration… Oddly enough, Dee Snider of the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band, Twisted Sister is also a hungry inspiring being. Isn’t that an odd combination?? But, if you read the following lyrics from his song, “Stay Hungry” you will see that he gets it too.

“Be the hunter and the hunted, keep your target in your sight.
Don’t be side tracked or shunted, let pretenders feel your bite.
And, if you start to slide, never show you’re weak.
Don’t feel you’ve got to hide.
Remember what you’re fighting for, remember what you seek.

Stay hungry!”


When I first heard that song back in circa (I like using that word) 1984 I immediately got it. Even though I was only 17 years old and probably wasn’t HIV+ yet… I still got it. A year-and-a-half later when I was told I was HIV+ this song became more profound. At that time I needed all of the idols I could muster just to survive. These days, I am using these (and other) inspirational people, words, and lyrics to make myself a better person.

At first look (and second and third) you might think that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs, and Dee Snider have absolutely nothing to do with each other. However, a closer look will reveal three completely different people and personalities who became huge successes through staying hungry! We can all learn something from Arnold, Steve, Dee, and other folks just like them. If you desire improvement and success then you will need to weather some storms… However, it is absolutely possible!

In the middle of Steve’s commencement, he also had a few profound words:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


This long-winded article was meant to do one thing. To get you up off your arse and keep you putting some elbow-grease into your life. You can either kick back and be driven where life takes you, or you can lead the way and determine your own destiny. I’m a destiny controller… What are you?

Written with a buttload of motivational mojo,

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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