When I first sat down to write an article for this blog, the very first question that I asked myself was, “What is something that is of the utmost priority for me as an Undergrad Student?”
When I thought about it, there are obviously things we feel we should do throughout our college life for our growth- things like participating in very diverse science, tech, social work committees, or finding meaningful Internships, maybe even writing(or trying to write) a research paper and getting it published, all of which we feel we need the most to succeed in our life. But, when you get down to the nitty gritty of these objectives, the same thing that we all want is to discover the purpose of our existence among the almost 8 billion people who inhabit this magnificent planet. And when I thought more about it, I couldn't ignore how this whole pandemic has played such a disastrous role in destroying those goals for us and our colleagues who graduated last year. The pandemic has taken people's goals away and made them desperate and depressed.
One of the slickest, funniest TEDx talks is Shawn Achor's "The happy secret to better work"
, and there's one thing Shawn said in it that really stuck with me.
“It's not the reality that shapes you , but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality”.
This Pandemic, I believe, served as a wake-up call to us, the youth, as well as the future generations that it really is past the time to fix, if not replace, these "lenses" through which our minds view the world.
I would be a fool and a hypocrite if I said that conventional careers are bad and that we should all abandon them and pursue our passions. But what I will say is that it's time we all gave a thought to other alternatives, to create and explore different avenues. Creation in all of its definitions, can be exploring Entrepreneurship and its many branches, or the good old way of Invention.
Mark Leruste in his TEDx Talk “What they don't tell you about entrepreneurship”
says a really amazing thing about finding our purpose, that “..if it was a thorny issue for Aristotle himself, then we should probably keep it simple”.
When we dive into the thought of becoming an entrepreneur, the biggest question that we have is “Do we have that unique idea?” and many of us end the thought right there. But if we get into statistics and as Bill Gross mentions in one of the shortest and impactful TEDx Talks “The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed”
, is that if we rank the importance of the factors, “The Idea” actually comes at number three, behind The “Team/Execution” and the most important factor being “The Timing”. Thus sure, your idea might not be unique but if you time it splendidly, you can make it a successful one. But then comes the second and perhaps an even tougher question “Where do I even start?”. Mark Rober the famous science YouTuber in his TEDx Talk “How To Come Up With Good Ideas”
gives us a very simple answer- to “Be Curious of your Quest”, and this is something I feel too, that Curiosity is the sword for Creation.
As we pick ourselves up from surviving this deadly Pandemic and as we foray into the future, becoming "aatmanirbhar" or self-sufficient, and finding “Creators/Inventors/Entrepreneurs” at our core becomes even more important. I am sure that the conventional workforce and jobs will always exist as an important part of the society but the reality of these jobs becoming obsolete with AI enabled automation in the near future reinforces the fact that “Time changes conventions”.
For a lot of us and especially for me, this idea of becoming a Creator/Entrepreneur/Inventor is a totally an uncharted territory, but facing your fear and stepping out of your comfort bubble can only result in two outcomes, we either succeed or we get the experience that makes us grow, live another day to try again.
So if I have to sum it all up, it would be to stay curious about things we are intrigued by and take out time on a daily basis to explore them. Just diving in and starting out with the intent to work towards adding value to people’s lives, enjoying it and being challenged frequently in the process is the end goal.
Milton Berle has a famous quote “ If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!” and I believe that it is time for us to begin our journey to become one of those curious creative carpenters who carve doors to the places we longed to be for ourselves.
So my question to the readers this week is:
"Are you ready to create your door?"