The people you meet and those you surround yourself with make you who you are.
Humans are not rocks. We sway. We change. Constantly adapting to our surroundings. All under the influence of something and most often, someone. This could not be any more true to what I got in the meet and greet session with Prince last Sunday.
To get you up to speed, in the Youth Leadership Programme, YLP for short, we have met and greet sessions with inspirational leaders to spark the motivation of our youth participants. For our first one, we had one with a charming fellow named Rahman Imam Hussein, or as his peers call him, Prince!
In the session, we danced. In the session, we played some games. But most importantly, in the session, he taught us the value of life, education and leadership.
The stories he shared of the early days of his life were bitter, but those experiences built him up. It’s not an easy feat to overcome trauma. Especially if it relates to who you are as a person, in Prince’s case, as a refugee in Malaysia. From bitterness, he turned it into sweetness. From being ashamed and afraid of coming out as a refugee, he now wears his colours proud.
He taught us that education matters. Education is key. It opens up gateways in life we could never imagine. Through education is where we meet people who will shape our lives for good or for bad. Through education is also where opportunities spawn is it for a job, for satisfaction or even for a spouse!
Finally, leadership. Leadership is a broad subject with a seemingly endless horizon. To depict this in the session, he made Aziza Aznizan his example, the founder of Paint The World Malaysia. These were his leadership pointers:
Great Leaders Guide
To be able to lead people, you must first be able to guide people. A baby would not learn to walk if everyone around him was crawling on the ground. We need to show how something is done to let people know that they can do it too and how they can do it.
Guiding others can also be a great way of reinforcing knowledge and skills. How? As you guide one on a path, you yourself are revisiting the path, enforcing muscle memory to be able to walk the path even with your eyes closed.
It is not unknown that to be a great leader, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Communication covers not only how you speak, your body language and listening skills also play a big role. Take former US President Barack Hussein Obama for example. His speech, as clear as the beach waters in the Bahamas. Body language, firm and appropriate enough to show that he’s enthusiastic and knows what he’s talking about. And listens like an A+ student at the front row of class in school.
Communication also helps in the next tip!
Ask for Help
Don’t do things alone. There’s only so much you can do alone. However, we can easily surpass this limit with numbers. An easy example of a limit is knowledge. One can not possibly know all there is to know, but in a team, these knowledge gaps can be closed. Even Elon Musk couldn’t run Tesla and SpaceX without his team.
Curiosity kills the cat does not apply in growth. Questions spark your neurons to work and find solutions. Prince said that he would rather be laughed at by his friends today than be laughed at by strangers tomorrow. You can laugh together with your friends but you can’t laugh together with strangers putting you down.
What is productivity? Generally, being productive is putting in input and getting great output as a result. But how? Prince highlighted that in terms of studying, studying hard (input) will only wear you out (output). By studying smart (input), you retain knowledge better, prompting better results (output). Now imagine if you put in a lot of time into studying smartly. The results could become phenomenal! So don’t waste your time.
Not wasting your time and being productive 24/7 is not such a bad thing. It’s awesome even. But we are not robots. Scratch that, even robots need maintenance! Taking breaks is essential in keeping productivity levels high to ensure you don’t wear yourself down. It does not mean stop fully though. So when you need it, take a breather and release the pent up negativity and fill yourself with positivity.
But what could you possibly do during your breaks? Next point!
For all the time and effort you spent, give yourself some recognition because you are your biggest supporter. As the popular saying goes, “Have a break, have a KitKat!” This will also motivate you to finish off your tasks and give you the positive vibes needed to start doing your next one.
Surround Yourself With Successful People
Prince quoted, “if you surround yourself with four drug addicts, you will be the fifth. If you surround yourself with four billionaires, you will be the fifth.” This really goes to show how much the people around us can influence our lives and whom we turn out to be in the future. This doesn’t mean you need to cut people out of your lives. It means that you should spend more time with those who put you up rather than those who put you down in order for you to grow.
Finally, there is always someone better than you out there no matter how good you are. There are always bigger fish in the sea. We need to always have the right attitude because talent without attitude does not get you far in life. Pro-tip, smile! It shows a great attitude to people and it also has the potential to make someone’s day.
Overall, the session was very informative, engaging, interesting and fun. Listening to his stories, seeing his spirit in action inspired me and I’m sure it inspired the students of the YLP to do their best and become great people and leaders.
We are going to have more meet and greets in the future with amazing people and leaders as part of the YLP. To know more about the programme, head on down to the link below!
Here’s to more insightful and inspirational sessions to come!
YLP information link: https://necole.tech/the-youth-leadership-programme/