I have been working with the young minds of our great nation for a long time now. But even though these are young minds, most of their views about the developments and events in our country are driven by ancient beliefs and thoughts. We are living in the world's youngest country, with 356 million people between the ages of 10-24. This means that the youth are the future of the country. And a great future starts with great change. Here are five things we must change today to move towards a better future and to live a more powerful life.
1. Focus on life skills, not just education or jobs
It's high time we shift our focus from going to school/college to get a great job to gaining life skills that will help us reach our full potential. It's time we start prioritising who we want to become as people by the end of our student life rather than which position we want to apply for. Are we building enough credibility for our own selves so that we can rely on it to design a great future? It's time for us to realise that education is not just about reading from books and writing tests but about developing skills that will make you a powerful person. These are skills that will help you understand and connect with different kinds of people and develop the right attitude and leadership.
2. Depend on your abilities, not on destiny
Unfortunately, we come from a culture where people very easily say agar naseeb mein likha hai toh zaroor hoga (if it's written in your fate, it will happen). It's time we realised that this statement makes us sound like victims of circumstance or 'destiny'. Let's be very clear, our lives are not like a TV serial plot where everything is scripted. It's more like a game of improv where we need to innovate and utilise everything we've got. The great inventor Chester Carlson, who invented the photocopying machine, was rejected for seven years in a row until finally he was able to get Haloid Company to believe in his great invention. Today it has become synonymous with Xerox. This was not destiny but his ability to be absolutely determined for seven long years. You need to start depending on your own abilities; if you don't have many, work on developing them.
3. Fight for your growth the way you fight for your gadgets and bike
There are a lot of platforms apart from college that are available for youth to get mentored and develop skills that will give them control over their future. Most of our youth say that their parents or their elders don't understand the importance of this exposure and how much value it would generate. Well the truth is that most parents do understand. It's just that these parents have never seen our brilliant youth fight for something really valuable for life the way they fight for their phones, bikes, cars, the New Year trip etc. The issue is that our youth portray the acquisition of the latest objects as investments rather than expenses. But they do not talk about developing their skills the same way. I have seen young people save their pocket money for years to buy that one expensive gadget which honestly is going to be used properly only for two or three years. It's time for us to start viewing the importance of developing our skills with the same attitude and perseverance.
4. Don't just focus on knowing. Focus on doing
I have noticed that when we share some valuable information or insights about skills, development or leadership, many young people respond with this brilliant statement: "I already know that". I'm glad that our youth knows so much, I'm glad that they know enough to verbally respond to questions on their skills and their future. But just knowing is not good enough. It's time to start doing something with what you know. Let's be very honest with ourselves. No one has ever achieved any great results in life by just knowing something. The only way to achieve great results in life is by taking action. So if you already know that, then step up and DO something about it and gain something out of it.
5. Build a network of great minds
Most successful people vouch for the importance of building and sustaining a network. Professionals today spend a lot of money and time on attending events only to network with people. This is mainly because they are not able to network enough at their own work places. What is great about being young today is that most college students see thousands of people every single day from different walks of life. They travel to different colleges for competitions. Again, a great platform to network. So network. Don't just talk about how stupid or great the education system is but talk about what you want for your future and how you are going to make it happen. You will surely end up having a great number of people aligning with your ideas and adding value to them too. It's time for you to make use of your investment in education and move beyond books and marks. Add value to your future by focusing on building a network.
We belong to a young, dynamic and powerful nation. It's time to start living like it.