Author: Wale Akinyemi
 The Force of Hunger

The Force of Hunger

Hunger is one of the greatest motivators on the face of the earth. A hungry person will get to a point where they will do literally anything to get something to eat. At that point logic is pushed to the background. This is the point when options that would never have been considered are now considered as viable. It is the point where dignity and self esteem seem not to matter as much as the goal of getting something to eat.

Now as I pondered over the subject of hunger I realized that this was the lacking ingredient in a lot of people. It is the missing link. A lot of people albeit businesses have stagnated and even failed because the hunger that got them started was no more there when success came. You cannot succeed beyond your level of hunger. Hunger drives. Hunger motivates. Take away drive and motivation what will be left is stagnation.

I remember when I first started out. There was hunger. I was ready to knock on doors and totally live outside the box. I had developed immunity to rejection. The more No’s I got the closer I was to a yes. I had a point to prove. The difference between me and homelessness was in my hunger. The difference between me and the tomorrow I dreamt of was my hunger today. I however noted something. As success began to come and the hunger levels began to go down creativity seemed to drop.  Who would have believed that there was a correlation between hunger and creativity?

I then decided that I needed to stay hungry. But then to stay hungry I had to change my vision. I had attained a level of fulfillment with my previous vision. The hunger of yesterday had been taken care of. I needed to find a new level of hunger. The reality is that your hunger of yesterday cannot take you into your fulfillment of tomorrow. Even the Lord’s Prayer says give us this day our daily bread. Hunger has to be daily. We do not stay full today on yesterday’s meal. Yesterday’s meal dealt with yesterdays hunger. We need to have a new hunger today that will drive us to today’s meal.

I see this trend in many organizations. When a new person comes in, there is the zeal and hunger to perform and make a point. They come up with great ideas and they are vibrant. As the hunger to make a point reduces, so also does the creativity and the zeal.

If we are going to stay hungry we must always set the bar higher. We must always come up with conditions that will induce hunger. For me at the early stage the condition was that I had to feed my family. Today that is not a driving force. That hunger has been permanently sorted out. Today the hunger is induced by the fact that we have other projects way bigger than us that need to be taken care of.

As I work with young people empowering, funding their dreams and creating jobs for them I found it to be a very powerful hunger inducing agent. It has made me very creative. However, a day will come when we will have succeeded in our goal to make poverty and unemployment a choice and not a sentence among the Kenyan youth. At that point we will need a new level of hunger to take us to the next level.

Are you merely prolonging yesterday’s meal or are you actively looking for a new meal? Are you savoring and doing your best to preserve the taste of yesterday’s meal in your mouth? Remember that no matter how much or how long you do this, yesterday’s meal does not have the capacity to take you into tomorrow. Were you once hungry? It’s time to get hungry again. People often ask for a raise at work but in reality a raise at the same level simply consolidates you at that level. It’s more of the same meal. Show me someone who will ask for a responsibility raise and not a financial raise and I will show you a person who has outlived yesterdays hunger and who is on a mission to greater heights.

Whatever you do, stay hungry.

wale@powertalks.biz   twitter@waleakinyemi


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