Are you challenging yourself enough?

Hugo Pereira, President of AIESEC in 2010-2011, recently held a TED talk at TEDxAUBG in Bulgaria about the questions that move us forward. He looked back at his 8 year experience in AIESEC as well as his volunteer internship in a non-profit in India to really figure out what it was that motivated him and helped him to grow as a person; he found it was human connection.

“Looking back I found that you find the right questions when you are surrounded by the right people…Do you know who are the 5 people you spend the most time with? Are they challenging you enough? Are they helping you find the right questions? Who are the right people for you?”

Watch his full TED talk here:

Do you feel yourself challenged by the people you spend your time with? How can you surround yourself with new people and different perspectives so that you are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?

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A usual lecture, a college event, a choice of clubs & societies to pick from & be a part of, an apprehension to sit for placements; all become a part of our Journey whilst in College. The one guiding feeling while all of this is happening is the willingness to do what you want to or what you eventually do either inspired by peers around you or oneself. All in all, it’s a discovery of your own or someone else’s Leadership, which gives you the calling to stand up for something you believe in.

Youth Leadership, prefer to chose the important guiding metaphor in these words – ‘YOU LEAD’ is subtly becoming the most buzzing set of words used these days by politicians, college principals, some youth Leaders themselves. Youth Leadership is becoming synonymous to the future of the country these days, if it’s good, you’re secure, else it’s a rising concern. Something youth fairly realize in their youth, before it becomes too late. We see it seeding in young people through all the activities in College these days, when the choices they make completely depend on their beliefs, their ideologies, whether it be standing up for being a Class Representative or leading a College club, all of these contribute to their leadership journeys. Ambition is one thing that gets today’s youth closer to leadership, when coupled with a passion to get what they desire; makes them stand stronger in their intent.

Another interesting behavior you get to see in College is how these youth leaders equip themselves to handle the ever so varying relationships with different categories of people. It is one of the most challenging yet exciting roles one has to play as a Leader, involving juggling between different audiences. They do it neatly, if you ask why, the answer is simple, if you can’t manage to, then it becomes harder for you to survive and stand up for things you believe in, for you do need people supporting and believing in you for the same. We are living in an age where being ordinary as a Leader is not an option, especially in light of the over-competitiveness we are living in, anything less does not count. One has to be the Generation which is Fast, Strong, Smart & Aware. People look upto and get inspired for something you have and they don’t, it’s essential to carry these with you. For instance, representing your college (students) to a potential Employer requires you to not just lead your college, but also to why you are the best among the rest. If the ‘Why’ is missing, then it just becomes harder to reach your goal. Perseverance & Hard Work always count in this age, one thing which most miss is that Youth is that segment of life where the curve (graphical representation) of Hard Work vs Success is Linear, the more you put in the better you get. Hence, one of the most important essentials is to be committed to what you do, for that pure passion will be the independent stronghold on your journey towards your goal. So if life becomes challenging while being a Leader in College, at home, everywhere, do not complain, when you start complaining, you potentially stop your efforts right there!

As for AIESEC, a global youth organization with a focus on youth being empowered to develop their leadership potential, it’s always easy to float these ideas as we believe, in Leadership, age does play a role. Today’s youth is dynamic, aware, intellectual, competitive, and passionate and it’s important to capitalize on Leadership in this state, than to leave it for experience, maturity & knowledge which happens/comes with change in hair color. Even though these are quite important, but Leadership is pure and does not depend as much on what you have or possess, more so, it will depend on what your intent is and we in AIESEC focus on Experiential Leadership development and yes we are college going students too!