"Think Big and Think Different" is the phrase that resonated and stuck with me throughout my fellowship journey. I believe the pursuit of these two phrases is the cornerstone of extreme success. The power of thinking big is to be able to dream and visualise what you can achieve on an audacious scale with no limit on your thinking. The bigger the goal the more open-minded you become and the more trivial is anything that threatens to slow you down in the short term. Once you unlock this idea, it galvalizes your thought process and inspires those around you to also achieve something remarkable. It is about a shift in mindset. A seismic shift for me. Thinking different comes naturally as I originated from the same planet but a different world.
Embrace Fear. Winning a Bush Fellowship was a validation of the greater things you can achieve. I knew this will be a time of great self growth and development. It was also the time when self doubt gave way to courage. The courage to step into the unknown with great care and dexterity. Fear is a natural and powerful emotion filled with a strong energy that occurs during the pivotal moments in your life. By understanding and being aware of the real fear of failure, the real fear of rejection, the real fear of other people’s projection of uncertainty, you can start learning the steps and the tools to manage it. Transformational change happens only when you have decided to stretch yourself. It is an iterative and at times anxiety filled process for me.
Build the Village. Any meaningful and lasting change requires an enabled communion of people and organizations working in concert. Building is different from connecting and bridging. Building the village requires passion, effort, persistence and consistency to create an organically growing inclusive and inviting network of people excited to help you make a difference. Efforts such as expanding your social circle by going to meetups, joining professional business after hours or breakfast clubs, or starting a friend-of-a-friend topic discussion series. As you make new friends, you’ll also make new professional connections that you can add to your growing network. I have found these great ways to build strong network to be effective: focusing on the right people, giving before receiving, becoming a connector, cultivating the connection, using social network and even starting your own social networks.
Dream in Color. Visualize relationships in multiple dimensions. Light is experienced as white, but if refracted into separate wavelengths, the naked eye can perceive the seven distinct bands of color that make it up and it is beautiful. By exerting a conscious effort to think differently, you need to put yourself into situations that expose the singular elements of your thinking, so you can grow multiple perspectives. Framing your differentness in terms of what people can absorb, withholding judgement to cross-fertilize perspectives as well as associative thinking to highlight intersection points. Your different thinking is a product of what goes on in this constantly changing environment. Being conscious of why you think the way you do will open up a new world to you.
In conclusion, I am grateful for this opportunity for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, it helped me unlock my own potential and thereby helping others discover theirs. I go forth with gusto to be a global change agent!