Monday, April 29, 2013

It is okay to be different

Recently, I was asked this question at a talk I had given at a local school, 'Why do you do this Abhishek? Why do you put in so much of an effort to connect with other young people and to show them they are special?'

This was my answer.....

As students we are not very different. We all want to be accepted for who we truly are. We all want to find that one special thing in each one of us. We all want to contribute towards some cause we are really passionate about.

It is just that we are all differently talented. One student may be good in academics, another in sports, another in entrepreneurship. What is important is that it is time people understood that every student is good at something.

And it will be extra-ordinary, if we can in some way show this student that you can take this one thing you are really good at and make it the focus point of your life. This is what the Empower One Billion Campaign is all about. That every student is special and unique in his or her own way. And you can use that uniqueness to change the world.

Then it is important you do not only tell people you like to do something, but you also train really hard at becoming really good at it. Then you put in the efforts to not only become best in your school, college or country. But you find a way to become best in the world at what you really like doing. This comes down to the 10,000 hour rule I mentioned in a previous blog post. Put in this time to become an artist at your craft.

When a student understands this, it empowers them in a way like no other. When I see a student come up to me and tell me that they want to go home and work on their dreams today. When I see students telling me that I made them believe they are extra-ordinary. I realize I will do this for the rest of my life even if I am constantly rejected and even if I get a thousand No's. 

Today I have spoken to over 3600 students across Mumbai and Bahrain. I realize that through this campaign if I am able to change even one student's life, I would have made a big difference. If even one student will go home and say, 'Yes, I am special. I can be extra-ordinary!' Then I think I am successful, not because I am very rich or because I am very famous but because I was able to change one person's life and that to me is something I will take to my grave... 

As Mother Teresa famously said, "Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person." 

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