What Are You Restless and Hungry For?

Hawaii

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
Steve Jobs

For as long as I can remember, I have been hungry and restless.

And seeing how it is human nature not to like your own “nature”, no pun intended, I have been deeply envious of those who are the opposite of this: grounded, settled, relaxed, content, and at peace with the process of life.

But maybe, just maybe, restless and hungry are conditions from which we all suffer silently in the windmills of our minds and in the sanctum of our hearts. Maybe we just learn to hide it as we grow up and grow older, and learn to go with the flow because, well, what sense does it make to go against the flow?

Then perhaps, we hide them so much – this hunger and restlessness that eat away at us – that we forget their existence altogether. They become a myth, a fantasy we tell ourselves when no one is listening, because if we admit that we feel this way, we might be misconstrued as ungrateful, we might be labeled as unrealistic.

This cannot be a popular thing in and of itself. Restless for what? Hungry but why? Are you not content with so many countless blessings in your life that you must feel this way? Can you not count your blessings and not make so much trouble and noise please when the rest of us are trying to live a perfectly normal life?

Do you ever feel this way, at least somewhere inside, despite your greatest efforts to create a clandestine front?

It is much easier to talk ourselves out of restless than to face our yearning for something meaningful. It is much easier to forget that we are hungry for something that may take effort, sweat, sleepless nights and sacrifice, and to accept the “food” that we have and stay content.

But fight the urge. Give your hunger a name and honor the restless feeling. Seek to first understand them and then vow to never banish them. Because, you know what, that feeling – that yearning, that restlessness and that hunger may just be your singular chance to uncover your purpose and your calling in life.

Every single one of us has a calling. Period. You can choose to heed its call or turn a deaf ear to it but that doesn’t deny its existence.

First, I associated – or rather, confused – my hunger with ambition. What a foolish girl I was back then! I am not happy, I thought, until I make a lot of money and earn a respectable title in my corporate career. As you see, I’ve never had any qualms about the money part, I have wanted to be obscenely rich since the day we closed the door to our beautiful home in Iran with just two suitcases to go on that 2-week vacation in Turkey that turned into a lifetime journey, and let me tell you, there’s nothing pretty about giving up everything your family owns and start all over again. The price was freedom and well worth it and with my new-found freedom, I was going to make up for the lost riches because struggling for money was nothing short of disgusting, a condition that Tony Robbins articulates marvelously, by the way, when he talks about his own humble beginnings.

So what if it’s not easy to listen to your heart? Who cares about easy? Easy is over-rated. Go for fulfilling. Go for feeding the yearning of your heart. Forget easy. Easy only breaks your heart in your golden years with bitter regret.

So yeah, I was sure for a long time that I was restless for money and ambition so I focused with all my might on a successful career. Then I had a great career and became more restless than before. The more I “succeeded”, in my old wacky ways of measuring success through raises and promotions while working for an entity I could hardly stand, the more hungry I became. I felt like an under-nourished nearly-starved tiger that kept eating all day but never felt satisfied. I had all the food I wanted and it felt empty like air; it did nothing to fill me up. And in fact, it set me on fire a little more than before.

I was badly mistaken at feeding my hunger but that was just the beginning. Next, I turned my attention to hobbies, social life and other distractions to feed this starvation and restlessness.

I thought I was hungry for dancing so I started Argentine Tango. I immersed myself in it for a few years and it was a beautiful distraction from the emptiness in my career. I was sure I am in love with tango! It brought me a lot of happiness over the years no doubt but truth be told, tango never satisfied my hunger either. I just refused to believe it because I wanted it to be so. It would have been so cool, so fun, so sexy to have been hungry for dancing . I wanted to tell that story except it was just a bad lie and alas, this dance came with a lot of liability. I met people who yearned for tango and felt fulfilled in its embrace, but not me. Plus, I was never that good at it. I know I excel at many things but tango was not my gift and a few months ago, I made a decision to stop dancing. For now. Until the time is right again someday. Someday, when I am not so hungry and restless.

Are you feeding your hunger with the wrong food or denying it altogether?

I thought I might be possibly hungry for having babies. After all, the cruel Mother Nature biological clock started ticking on me many years ago, and it has been simply lovely to hear its ticking sound through reverberations made from family and indirect pressures from friends and society at large. Every time a friend would have a baby, and that happened a little too often for my taste especially when the said friend had repeatedly said that they want to live a radically different life and had no interest in having the said baby, anyway, a part of me wondered about doing the same. It was driven part by boredom and part by misdirected hunger. The truth is that I have never, ever, had a desire to procreate, even when I look at lovely precious babies and perfectly behaved children, few as they may be, and the only reason I would have ever considered it would have been curiosity. My husband and I are a gorgeous, healthy couple and we could no doubt produce a ridiculously gorgeous baby or two and impart great wisdom onto the little creatures but is that enough reason? According to our Moms, yes, but according to my heart, ummm, no.

What if you are not restless for the next thing that the ordinary path of life has set aside for you?

I thought I was hungry for friendships. I never came close to replacing my childhood friends and a part of me was sure that I need a good solid circle of friends to fill my heart and calm my restlessness. Besides, friends are the cure to all sadness, and pain, and emptiness, or so everyone says. With all due respect to that theory: WHATEVER! I lost count of how many friendships I pursued over the years and how many times I poured my heart out in hopes of satisfying this hunger. Most of the friends I made were a colossal disappointment. There was nothing in particular wrong with them. It was just that we had so little in common, and I was so tired of fooling myself into believing otherwise and so sick of doing things that left me hungrier than before or saying things that I didn’t really mean. Finally, a few months ago, I decided to give up this ridiculous pretense of having a circle of friends. With the exception of a precious few that hold a place in my heart, I ended both my pursuit and the existing friendships that I no longer cared for. I expected sadness; instead, I was liberated to let go of what I thought I so badly needed. Nearly overnight, I changed my entire approach to friendships and turned my attention back to that hunger and restlessness.

Your greatest regret will be to ignore your hunger and to deny your restlessness a chance.

Many misguided trails and paths later, I finally now get the hunger and foolishness that Steve Jobs was talking about. It was not money. It was not ambition. It was not babies. It was not even friendships. It was not any of that for me.

For me, it was uncovering a purpose so deeply ingrained in my heart that I would have surely starved in the end if I had not started to pursue it with the relentlessness of that same madly hungry tiger.

I am not hungry for a large circle of friends. I am hungry for connecting with other souls and building meaningful relationships even with those I may never meet in this lifetime.

I am not restless for blind ambition. I am restless for true success beyond my wildest imagination.

I am not hungry for riches. I am hungry for massive wealth for myself and others.

I am not restless for taking a trip or two here. I am restless for traveling to such a ridiculous extent that I know every inch of Italy, all Hawaiian islands, and parts the South Pacific and countless other spots on earth like the back of my hand.

I am not hungry for taking a few photos with my new camera. I am hungry for creating jaw-dropping art with light and for capturing the magic of the places that words fail to adequately describe.

And I am not restless for a little self-employment venture here with my blog. I am restless for creating a company and a brand that will bring all my talents and gifts and desires together to shape and re-shape the lives of countless people during my lifetime and beyond it.

So tell me, what is it that you are hungry for?

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  • http://devacoaching.com Sandi Amorim

    This was jaw-dropping, heart-opening goodness oozing out of each and every word Farnoosh. My mind is whirling in the best possible way!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Sandi, so happy that this touched you so deeply. Big smiles :)!

  • http://www.entwicklungscamp.de/ Andrea

    Wow, what a great post.
    I find myself a lot in what you are writing (though I had not to flee with my family obviously and have a little baby girl for instance…). But, yeah, isn`t it funny how unimportant careers – at least in the old fashioned sense – are? Times are changing!
    Today I read a good sentence: Help others grow and by this grow yourself (and your business). Yes, that`s what I am hungry for!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Andrea, so nice to see you again. I am sure you and I can still relate without having the same back story of life, no worry. :)
      Thank you for sharing that beautiful thought….. I love it. And for being here of course. Stay hungry!

  • http://alwayswell.wordpress.com Sandra / Always Well Within

    Thought provoking! I’m intrigued by your love affair with restlessness. As it hasn’t satisfied you yet, how can you be sure that your new set of restlessness will bring you the contentment you seek… Restlessness can bring us to our true purpose so I’m not discrediting the idea, but my sense is that it’s one to approach with caution. My aspiration is to be content in every moment. Yet there is a certain disenchantment I feel, the bittersweet sense of the transitory nature of all things, and the pointlessness of pursuing that which we can never truly catch.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Sandra, I knew I would get a response along these lines from you , my dear friend, and you know me well by now, you know how much I love meditation and stillness and balance in yoga…. and yet, there is the restlessness. I have NO idea that my purpose will quiet my restlessness. I just know that the other things I tried in my life did not, and this one – this path – fulfills me and feeds me on a different level. Will it be enough? I don’t know. My hope is that I will find inner peace through feeding the hunger and part of that is still to be determined…. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. And for being here. So happy to have your energy!

  • http://alwayswell.wordpress.com Sandra / Always Well Within

    Yikes, I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings! I know you have to follow your own path, that’s the only thing that makes sense. I truly hope you find all the nourishment you seek. I really don’t have any answers. I’m working with my own sense of disenchantment at the moment! Who knows, anything could happen!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      No, no, no, not at all…. oh dear, I think that line read totally wrong. It wasn’t anything more than saying that I know where you stand on a lot of issues because I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you, Sandra, that’s all. Why would you hurt my feelings? You are sharing your beautiful thoughts with me. Big hugs to you and so sorry for how the word read… believe me my heart was truly content to hear from you. You know that, Sandra!!! :)

  • Cassandra

    Farnoosh, this is a GREAT post! It makes you reconsider what you’re really wanting in life…what your heart really wants. I really admire how you were able to realize what it is your heart craved for and went for it…even if it meant not fitting what society wanted/expected you to be. You are definitely a great inspiration to me, sweet Farnoosh! You are definitely a role model of mine! :)

    Thank you for sharing your words and experience with us…and for building such an amazing place for all of us to come to!

    XOXO…HUGE hugs,

    Cassandra

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Cassandra, so glad to see you here. Thank you for your lovely thoughts. And I am SO happy to be an inspiration for you. I know that you take these things very seriously and are making conscious choices for your life. Keep it up. Big hugs back.

  • Rebekah

    Dear Farnoosh,

    Yes, we’re back, thanks! The Aegean light and warmth of new friends (even the dog) linger here at home, where we are happy to be settling back in.

    I have to confess I loved reading this post mostly because it said so much about a dear friend, but it also leaves me with two thoughts. First — I believe you had to dance, make friends, work hard, consider motherhood, and start traveling in order to be what you are now. How different “knowing” something is from having knowledge shaped, burned, built into your very bones. Second, as someone who has also explored her way around instead of being on a predictable pathway, I know the importance of distinguishing between Success and symbols of success. The latter can fool us all if we’re not careful, especially when a subculture tells us that the symbols are what matter. Thanks for another heartfelt, inspiring post!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Welcome back, dear Rebekah.
      I read this a few hours ago and it got me thinking – the way you put things – always so eloquently – thank you for sharing with me the immeasurable difference between “knowing” and building it into my bones. You are absolutely right. I can’t thank you enough for this post. Big hugs! Hope to see you soon.

  • http://www.successbuildingblocks.com Grady Pruitt

    Fantastic post! Though I did find it a little funny that right after you “So what are you hungry for?” was the line “No related posts.”

    Guess I”m not hungry to read related posts :D

    Anyway, I can relate. When I first got into studying computers, it was because I enjoyed playing video games. But over time, it felt like all I was being exposed to was how to develop programs for business. In the last few years, I have learned of tools and started exploring doing 3d graphics and even though I haven’t pursued it as relentlessly as I should (or I would be able to do them better now ;), this pursuit has left me more satisfied than all the years of study in college.

    Something else is that I’ve known all along that my true interests doesn’t lie in waiting tables or owning my own restaurant (okay… maybe if I owned it but someone else did the cooking… :D ), yet I have been in the industry in one way or another for most of my working career. All except maybe 2 to 3 years of it. But since I’ve been working on my blog (and I mean truly working on it like I have in the last 9… Or rather 6 of the last 9… months, not like the two or three years of “pretending” to work on it), I have felt more satisfied than all the time I have spent working. One of the reasons for this is that I have always enjoyed helping people, and through my blog, I finally find that I can help myself as well as help others.

    Can’t say I agree with you about the children, though, because I’ve always thought it would be cool to have kids, and now I have 2 ;)

    Great post, and thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest Grady, thanks so much for sharing a fun and well-thought-out comment…. Oh dear, no worry about agreeing. These are my personal thoughts and I am glad you listened to your desire when it came to children. That’s really all we can do – listen to what we deeply need and then fulfill it.
      And it’s really nice to hear you are REALLY (that was funny – not pretending but really) working on that blog. What is your aspiration with it? Keep it up. It will keep giving back and keep surprising you. Thanks for being here. :)

      • http://www.successbuildingblocks.com Grady Pruitt

        Funny as it is, it’s true… That site had been up at least a year before I switched it from a static site to a true blog, though it had been on WordPress the entire time. And I spent a lot of time telling my self I was working on it, but wasn’t writing content for it or doing anything to promote it. I’ve done more of it since I converted it into a blog last September (minus the three months from late last year to the beginning of this year when I fell into procrastination).

        My aspirations for the site would be that it would earn enough income for me to leave my job as a waiter and be able to have more time with my family while having a growing income. Long term, maybe it might even lead to being a speaker where I can go around encouraging others to improve themselves. And maybe it may even help me to eventually become a published author. (I’ve got several novels I could edit if I would just take the time to do so ;)

        But mainly, I hope the site becomes an encouragement for others to improve themselves and reach success with themselves, their finances, their health, and their relationships.

        I always enjoy coming by and reading your posts :D

  • http://www.ameenafalchetto.com Ameena Falchetto

    Oh wow Farnoosh! What a powerful post … and so timely.

    Today I am hungry, well not really, I am craving sugar and coffee! I have decided to embark on a detox and change in diet which is going to satisfy my hunger to be a better, stronger ME! I know it’s going to transfer into my work which it’s why it’s so important to me and I can see myself succeeding this time – instead of looking at ways to reduce my post baby waistline I am looking as weight loss as a side effect of a healthier mind and body.

    My hunger a few months ago to get creative was what sparked my drawing frenzy which I love … digging deep to find what I was really longing for and committing to it!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      I got so distracted – in a good way – with your last blog post that I had to go over and read it now. Very good argument for publishing pricing, Ameena! I have heard several top coaches say don’t publish prices, and I’ve also heard the argument you make. I have done both. You got me thinking. Thank you :)
      And brilliant idea to detox. Good For You! How are you doing it? You may know I am running my juicing clinic and I believe juicing is the gateway to other health habits. Already one of my juicing enthusiasts in the clinic has no craving for cheesecake after juicing for FOUR days!!! I am sending you lots of good luck vibes, stay hungry when it comes to the non-food side ;) and detox away! THANK YOU for being here. Made my day to see you!

  • http://nochnoch.com Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    i’m hungry for inner peace – which I’m slowly gaining through writing, calligraphy and taichi :)
    aand lots of reading and forcing myself to slow down!
    Noch Noch

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest Noch Noch, what a beautiful thing to be hungry for. I hope that someday I have inner peace too. And try Tai Chi to boot. Enjoy your wedding. I can’t wait to hear more about it. And thanks for dropping by!

  • http://www.alidavies.com Ali Davies

    What jumped out for me from your post Franoosh, is that you have shifted from settling for less than what you really want to orientating your life and work around your core values. And a life and business built on core values is the key to a truly fulfilling, meaningful and purposeful life. Enjoy your journey.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Ali, Ali, how nice to see you here! Yes, that’s been a huge shift in my life – great observation….. I know you live this from your very bones. :) Enjoying my journey AND those with whom I share it including yourself. thanks for stopping by.

  • http://www.wisewomenwrite.com Diane Owens

    Farnoosh,
    Loved this post and the idea that being hungry also leads to the feeling of restlessness. Ah, so that’s what it is that’s been going on inside me!

    I routinely make lists in a special journal of what I’m hungry for. This grew out of a comment I heard Elizabeth Gilbert make, that every day we should ask ourselves what do we really, really, really want. I did that for awhile, but I finally realized that by naming this “triple-squared wanting” a hunger, I was able to look within and come up with a meaningful answer.

    As women, we tend to get caught up caring for everyone else’s wants/needs, so it’s important that we take care of ourselves by regularly asking, “What am I hungry—and restless—for?”.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Diane, a huge welcome to you for being here. So glad you shared your thoughts. Thank you!!

      A journal for what you’re hungry for? That’s brilliant. I ADORE Elizabeth Gilbert.

      You know, I’ve never got caught up in everyone else’s wants and needs so much as I just didn’t really believe I could have my own. I know what you mean though – and I will start that journal. THANK YOU for sharing!

  • http://becomingunencumbered.com Lee

    Wow, what passion Farnoosh! I felt like you had snuck inside me and pulled out some of my hidden thoughts and feelings. I so know that restlessness and hunger for something long unidentifiable. Each job I took that I did well, but ultimately came to hate, the desire to travel, my aversion to scheduling and locked in days because I wanted more time to immerse myself in my interestes and passions. All these things previously made me feel like I wasn’t living up to my potential or the expectations of those who thought me so smart and capable. Well, I wasn’t living up to my potential because my energy and focus was on the wrong things and not my purpose. I love my kids, but being a mother is not my sole purpose either – though addressing the unique needs of one child has forced me to leave the expected path and seek alternatives. Those alternatives have led me to what makes me feel more in sync an settled within myself. I have learned to listen and do what speaks to me, not those around me. And in that my hunger is to that more and better, and the restlessness has subsided because I am no longer caged in a life that was not meant to be mine.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello beautiful Lee, I *love* that I touched you so deeply – that’s such a reward, so good to know and your words here are simply beautiful and powerful, Lee.
      I know precisely what you mean, and I love that you have both your purpose as a mother and something else to leave behind as your imprint on this world. Oh and everything you have come to conclusion with – listen to yourself and not others – that’s what I experienced and life has never felt more RIGHT. You know? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding so much to the conversation here.

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  • Ann

    As I read your post, I thought of C.S. Lewis. He wrote…”we remain
    conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy…” The entire
    context of his remarks can be read at Weight of Glory
    I found your post after googling “what are you hungry for?” I had been to worship and had been asked that question. It caused me to ponder this as I made my way home. C.S. Lewis thinks we are not hungry enough….too easily satisfied. “Our
    Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but
    too weak. We are half-hearted creatures,
    fooling about with drink and sex and
    ambition when infinite joy is offered us,
    like an ignorant child who wants to go on
    making mud pies in a slum because he
    cannot imagine what is meant by the offer
    of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily
    pleased.”
    He thinks the answer to our restlessness is found in the Bible and the claims of Christ.
    I agree with Lewis.
    Ann

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Ann, thanks so much for stopping by! That is an incredible poem you shared here and I really appreciate your insights. Indeed, we are fooling around at times and not truly satisfying the real hunger beneath all the layers.

  • Rose

    Wow, that was a great post. Thank you for sharing so much detail, you are very encouraging. I knew it was time to quit my current job. I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller and Joel Boggess for months. Joel ‘s interviews with single momm ministry have given me some good ideas on helping single moms connect in my area. Just writing out a few ideas made me feel excited to really get involved. I’ve been in a cubicle for years and it’s time for me to embrace my personality and be creative, encouraging and serve others. I feel like it is a hunger, but not like you describe. Mine is more like I’m just a little hungry for something else really really, good and satisfying. Thanks for all you are doing.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Rose, so nice to have you here and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Those are excellent people to learn from, and I am SO glad you are taking their advice and some of my insights here to heart, but mainly following your own heart for what you need to do. The exit strategy can be exciting and I help my clients and students create the one that suits them – no two are alike, because we have different desires – different levels of “hunger” as you describe – and varying life responsibilities. If I can help you in anyway, just let me know. Thank you and best of luck!

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  • Ben

    Thank you for this blog! It led me to Steve Jobs speech. I was just telling my dad that I am hungry and discontent with my growth. I need to fulfill my starving soul and google’d “hungry and relentless” then came across your blog.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Ben, I am so glad you are questioning your current path and making sure you are doing the right things with your life.