Just yesterday night I was watching CNN Heroes and I saw so many young people with great potential of their own who have so few opportunities to explore or express it. Still, they bravely persist in striving to make their mark on the world, even in contexts of deprivation and conflict.
In the course of our lives we have the opportunity to meet and possibly interact with people who’ve made measurable impact in the world, including well-known experts, authors, researchers, journalists, scientists, innovators, business geniuses, and entrepreneurs. Yet among these world influencers are also everyday people who have found a special niche in which they’ve contributed at the highest level. It’s critical to note that people who’ve made a real difference aren’t all privileged, advantaged or “special” people. Many have come from disadvantaged families, and crushing circumstances, but have found ways to pick themselves up and rise above their circumstances (and their genes) to transform their own lives and those around them.
In the field of psychology in the past there was always a heated argument of Nature vs Nurture, and which one superseded the other in influencing an individual’s life. Today however, there is a general consensus that though both have a significant influence, nurture still holds the upper hand. This in essence says that every individual has the capacity to be who they want to be and they can reach whatever heights they want.
There is a movie (Lucy), about scientists trying to prove that human beings can actually access 100 percent of their brain… and its surreal because it re-defines the word “limitless” for you and opens your eyes to just the possibilities that lie in the truth of such proposition.
At the moment I am working on a paper exploring graduate unemployment and exploring ways of enhancing employability through critical thinking and realistic decision making skills. Amongst the various factors that have been identified as responsible for graduate unemployment, there is a general consensus whenever the issue of education comes up. Its no more news that there is a great difference, between the requirements of the world of work and the information we get in school. The baseline however is the admission that the world is no longer as we know it (or at least, as our parents knew it). It’s no longer a linear world where you go to school, graduate and almost immediately is picked up by a firm, you work for thirty or so years with the conviction of some sort of settlement at the end. Then it made sense to work really hard for a long time because you were guaranteed of some source of income later, but in our world today, it’s about working smart, its about standing out, being extraordinary, making an impact.
To make an impact, you no doubt cause a change, which means each and every one of us has to be a change agent. What exactly is a change agent?... in this context, it’s anyone who is able to influence circumstances for a more productive output. If we consider the many characteristics of a change agent, besides being socially responsible, an active learner, we see that a change agent is entrepreneurial. A couple of years back, entrepreneurship to me was like social strata, where certain privileges were for a certain class. But today, entrepreneurship for me is a matter of relevance. I always tell people that when I was younger I thought my greatest fear was the fear of death, but as I grew older I found that it really was the fear of being irrelevant. It’s scary for me to think of a moment of ever being totally obsolete, irrelevant to my environment, my community or the world at large.
I believe that problem of unemployment amongst other things is hinged on many of us being round pegs in square holes. We are not where we are meant to be, and truth be told many don’t even know where that is. Wanting relevance isn’t necessarily in the context of trying to prove a point, it’s basically about an avenue for self expression. People who impact the world understand the importance of finding purpose and meaning and pursuing it tirelessly...that is what keeps you relevant.
Needless to say that it’s high time for us as youths to find our place, because even when we observe our government/leaders and the bickering and narrow-minded arguments taking place, we realize that it’s up to you and I to start charting our courses as individuals and for our Nation. And as Christians we need to move with the bold confidence that grace gives us to walk in uncertainty, fearless and unafraid of rejection. When we fear making mistakes, we become timid and limit ourselves from living abundantly. We let analysis permeate our decision as we lead quiet, desperate, anti-faith lives.
However to impact our world we need to understand certain things;
We need to continually improve ourselves: People who impact the world for the better know that they are not perfect. They understand how their knowledge isn’t “complete” – there are always gaps, biases, limitations and prejudices, and new places to go with their expertise.
We need to interact: Those with huge positive influence understand the power of relationships, connection, and engaging with the world openly. They’re not afraid to get “out there” – connecting with others, sharing their knowledge and talents, offering their authentic and often contrarian viewpoints and opinions
We need to be open to criticisms: The most powerful positive influencers don’t need or want to be “right” – they want to grow and be more effective.
We need to allow ourselves to be mentored and be willing to mentor: They are happy to help and support others, and have an overflow of positive energy that enriches the lives of everyone they work with and connect with. These positive influencers want others to grow.
We need to be keep in perspective: Positive influencers don’t take short cuts or go for the quick buck or easy answer. They don’t view some arbitrary goal or outcome as a destination, because they believe there is no end – it’s all in the journey. It’s about what they’re learning, experiencing, and building that helps others, and for that, there is no defined end point
Lastly if we want to impact our world, we must realize that “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” —Neil Gaiman…. Adnd without a doubt GOD!