“This moment in history demands that we stop waiting on others to solve the problems and right the wrongs of our times.”
At 66th AIESEC International Congress 2014 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Arianna Huffington addressed more than 700 young leaders from 124 countries and territories.
In her message to young people, she addressed the concept of “leading the change,” focused on empowering young people to create the change they wish to see in the world. Connected with the leadership development that AIESEC provides to young people, Arianna Huffington advises youth to tap into their creativity, leadership and wisdom – “Because wherever we look around the world, we see smart leaders in politics, in business, in media, making terrible decisions. What they are lacking is not IQ, but wisdom.”
Some of the most important issues today including diversity, climate change, education and the impact of technology require not just talk, but action. Arianna says:
“…don’t wait for leaders on a white horse to save us. Instead, turn to the leader in the mirror. Tap into your own leadership potential, because the world desperately needs you. And that means daring to take risks and to fail, as many times as it takes along the way to success and more important, to remaking the world and leading the change.”
How can we ensure that we are leading the change?
It’s always very easy to get caught up with the many things and responsibilities you have to cater to. We are so hard bent on getting lost in the complexities that everything seems like such a hurdle. It causes stress on you and the people around you, straining relationships and testing tempers.
It’s not too late to set a resolution, so we’d like to remind you of a few simple things to be more effective and efficient in your everyday life. A new year is a chance to start again, a chance to change and improve, a chance to be better. Let’s make the best of it!
1. You’re Responsible For You.
Everyone has bad days. Everyone has things that don’t go their way. It’s okay to be upset. But don’t let that hold you back or keep you from getting back up. We all get knocked down so that we can stand up again. Challenges are always going to punch you in the face, so fight back! No one is going to do it for you.
2. Listen To Your Gut
Life is a maze. We reach crossroads. We may not have the answers. It is natural to seek advice and guidance. But always remember, each person has a different opinion and a different perspective. Each experience is different. That feeing in the pit of your stomach that won’t go away? Listen to it. Sometimes it’s okay to trust your instinct. You’d be surprised at how accurate it can turn out to be
3. Listening Is Just As Important
Communication is a two-way street. If you want to be heard then you need to be able to extend the same courtesy to another. Being able to hear and listen are two different things. Everyone is just as important as you are. Everyone wants to be heard and understood. Be the kind of person that lets people know their voice is valued.
4. Be An Encourager
Remember the last time you wanted to try something and felt insecure about going ahead with it? Every other person in the world feels that way. Insecurity is a part of our life but the right words go a long way in easing that insecurity. Being someone who pushes people forward goes a long way. You may have just played a part in giving someone the courage to go after their dream.
5. All Bark And No Bite!
Nobody likes a person who just talks and talks and does nothing. Actions always speak louder than words. Be known as someone who gets things done, who’s word is as good as the job being done. Always remember that ‘Well done’ is better that ‘ Well said’.
6. When In Doubt, Just Ask.
You’re not expected to know everything. Every day is a learning experience. Some may know more than you. There is no shame in asking because you don’t know. It shows your willingness to learn and better yourself.
7. Learn To Laugh At Yourself.
Okay, so you spilled a glass of water on yourself in front of a bunch of people. So what? They’re laughing at you? Laugh with them. It’d be pretty funny to see someone else with a soaked shirt right? Sure, it might be a little embarrassing, but that is where great stories come from. Besides, being laughed at can’t embarrass you if you’re laughing along with them too!
8. Politeness And Kindness Go A Long Way.
The world is moving at such a fast rate, that we forget to acknowledge the people we see. Take a moment to wish someone a good morning. Smile. Mum said don’t talk to strangers, she never said don’t smile. You could just make someone’s day. Kindness goes a long way too. No one’s asking you to go out of your way to help everyone, but if there is something you can do for someone, do it with a smile. Who knows when you might need them to give you a hand?
9. Give Something New A Try.
‘Get out of your comfort zone!’. I’m more than sure that you’ve heard this plenty of times! And that is because it’s true! This world is huge and offers more things than you could dream of! Take full advantage of that! You’re not going to gain anything by sticking to the same boring old routine day in and day out right? Talk to a stranger on the bus, try a new dish, colour your hair! Countless new things to try! Who knows, you may find something you’d like to make a part of your life!
10. Don’t Retaliate In Anger
Anger is such a powerful emotion. The urge to strike back and inflict the same hurt you feel is enormous when you’re upset. Many a times we say or do things in the heat of the moment and almost always end up regretting it. Simple tip: When you’re mad and you question whether you want to say or do something, DON’T do it. You’re guaranteed to regret it. You can be as mad as you like but keep calm and wait till you’re feeling less agitated and then take up whatever issue you may have. Give yourself that time and space. It’s okay to want that and communicate the same to the people around you.
11. Always Keep The Bigger Picture In Mind.
Life is too short to hold on to trivial matters. In a few years what seemed like a big deal today will be nothing more than a passing thought. Don’t let a petty matter affect your work, health or relationship with people. It is just.not.worth.it. Holding a grudge takes up too much effort and time. Focus that energy somewhere more productive. There is more to come, more for you, more for the people around you. Remember that.
12. You’re Your Priority Too!
The relationship you have with you is as important as the relationship you have with anyone else, maybe even more important. Because you have to live with you every single day for the rest of your life. Take time off to spend with just you. Catch up on a movie , read a book or treat yourself to a spa day. Ensuring you are happy and at peace with you is the only way you will be able to focus on growing in your other relationships.
13. Every Little Thing Counts!
Every day has something new to offer, there will always be something new to learn. You just need to look for it. It can be anything, from learning a new word to a piece of advice. No action, no matter how small, is insignificant. So appreciate and look at what you can gain out of an everyday experience. A few years from now, when you look back, you’ll see that it was all the little things that made the biggest difference in creating your picture.
AIESEC provides over 100,000 young people with the chance to improve their skills each year. If you are looking to volunteer with AIESEC, check out our website at www.aiesec.org.
For 65 years AIESEC has been impacting young people around the world. And yet we are often referred to as “The World’s Best Kept Secret.” Until Now!
With a midterm ambition to provide life-changing leadership development experiences to 1 million young people before the end of 2015, the organisation is thinking big and making the brave decision to dramatically evolve. Economical, social and technological change demands responsible and entrepreneurial leaders who are both adaptable and globally minded. By its international nature, AIESEC has already succeeded in bringing together over 1 million young and talented minds to build a road towards a better future, where cultural and social boundaries are overtaken by international exchange of experiences and ideas. Understanding the world is the most powerful tool to change the world and this is what AIESEC aims to do.
This is why we do what we do. This is our contribution. Join us, and impact the future.
Join us on social
Find work experience or a fantastic volunteering opportunity to kickstart your career.
Welcome back! Login now to search for great opportunities.
AIESEC is a non-governmental not-for-profit organisation in consultative status with the United Nations Economic
and Social Council (ECOSOC), affiliated with the UN DPI, member of ICMYO, and is recognized by UNESCO.
AIESEC International is registered as a Foundation (Stichting), RSIN #807103895 in
Rotterdam, The Netherlands.