My keynote at RMIT Webinar: “Leadership Mindset In Difficult Times” on 20 May, 2020.
Thanks RMIT for inviting me to share with the young talents.
I will start my sharing about mindset by telling 4 stories which reflect mindset messages.
1. A choice is always available for you (Bế Thị Băng)
Born as a normal girl in the highland, she grows up like other normal kids. Then she got an accident. The container truck hit the back of her motorbike, the wheel clamped on the motorbike and her right leg and dragged her along the road. Waking up after surgery, Bang was shocked to learn that one of her legs had been cut.
At that time, Bang was only 24 years old. Just got a job. The skype seems to fall in front of her eyes.
Last year, she was the winner of crescent moon contest by her impressive dance performance. (You can watch here). What else can she do? She can swim and she is a dentist and married a German professor
Talking about her disadvantage, Bang expressed: “I tell myself that whether we are disabled or healthy, we have the right to equality and to live and be confident with ourselves.”
Similarly, it’s not your fault if you were born poor or some accidents happen to your life or prone to mental illness. But it is your responsibility to figure out how to deal with your situation.
No one else can heal your emotional wounds but you. No one else can fix your toxic relationship with money but you. No one else can make you stop addicting to social media/phone but you.
That isn’t to say you have to do it all by yourself. You should seek out help if you need a coach/mentor and get financial help when your luck is down. But for better or worse, at the end of the day, it’s all on you.
2. No one will believe in you unless you do (Ritesh Agarwal)
Ritesh Agarwal was born in Rayagada, India – a city where most people make no more than 10 dollars a day. He grew up very poor and he struggled for 18 years. He did not go to the university and he had no career according to his neighbor. At some point, he was kicked out of his own apartment with 50 cents in his banking account
He knows that his life is hard and well aware of it. He did not chase money but try to solve the issue that made his life and other lives better. He observed that the hotel owner did not make a lot of money so he took the biggest risk of his life to promise to bring more customers to the hotel. Then he came to the hotel to change the lightbulb, bed and put water and painting to increase the standard of the hotel and then took pictures to put one on the internet and Change the name OyO hotel. Finally, more customers came to the hotel and OyO became the largest hotel chain in the world
He received a Thiel Fellowship that paid him $100,000 over two years to create a startup.
He raised $25 million (Rupees 150 crore) from San Francisco-based Greenoaks Capital and existing investors Sequoia, DSG Consumer Partners and LightSpeed Ventures.
He became the youngest billionaire in India with a hard childhood thanks to an elegant solution to the problem with the guts and fortitude to build.
There are enough people who tell us that we are not good enough, why do we want to tell ourselves that negative thought? Your thoughts are a catalyst for self-perpetuating cycles. What you think directly influences your feelings and behaviors . So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure. Then, you’ll act like a failure, which reinforces your belief that you must be a failure.
Listen to what you believe and do your best to bring solutions to the issues that you discover.
Consistently learn and improve until you get it. When you can do it once, you can do it again and again. No one will believe in you unless you believe in yourself.
3. See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be (Boyan Slat)
Boyan Slat is a Dutch inventor and the CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.
In 2011, at the age of 16, while Slat dive in Greece, he found there were more plastic than fish in the ocean. Instead of complaining and being angry, he decided to devote a high school project for deeper investigation into ocean plastic pollution and why it was considered impossible to clean up. He later came up with the idea to build a passive system which uses the circulating ocean currents to his advantage. Then he presented at a TEDx talk in Delft in 2012.
Slat discontinued his aerospace engineering studies at TU Delft to devote his time to developing his idea. He founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013, and shortly after, his TEDx talk went viral after being shared on several news websites.
Then he received all of the awards you can think of such as the Champions of the Earth award of the United Nations Environment Programme, Forbes “30 under 30” list In 2016, a Thiel Fellowship receiver, European of the Year, Dutchman of the Year 2017.
In 2018, Slat was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci International Art Award and Euronews award “European Entrepreneur of the Year”.
If he just showed his judgment on everyone else with rage for throwing trash in the ocean—well, no one would have listened to him. Then the ocean will appear with more trash and plastic and other waste and hundreds of species in the ocean will disappear.
It is easy for us to judge, criticise and comment behind the screen with the air conditioner but it takes guts, hearts and brains to act like the problem solver.
Action speaks louder than words and when you see the real ugly world as it is, not as you wish it would be, you come up with a solution which gradually influences others with the actions.
4. Lead by example then people will follow
This is the last story that I want to share today.
As an entrepreneur, I suffer a lot from Coronavirus pandemic. However, instead staying at home and crying, I chose to be different and meaningful to my life and others.
I want to build a stronger culture, improve myself and others who go with me as this pandemic is just one of the worst events that happens to our life and we have more unexpected events in life.
I started a plank challenge in my company to encourage people to exercise and lose weight ;and daily meditation to help our team mind stronger and focus their concentration on things that matter the most.
The Result was great, my team works better and faster online even though we suffer a lot from the beginning. I lost 5 kg and gained more muscles. At first, it is weird that my team will meditate with me in the morning, now that is the first thing they do in the morning with me.
Secondly, when I saw the old man crying on the street with the lottery ticket. I feel really bad, I also want to help him and many miserable lives on the street But my resources and capacity are limited.
Therefore, I want to initiate a project or platform that helps not only the youth but also the less fortunate one with automatic mechanisms. That’s why GIVE IT BACK was born to support the youth to accomplish more via mentoring 1 on 1 models as well as give a chance for them to give it back and share the difficulties with those less fortunate with their capacity. You can see the value cycle in this project and the youth know that they are lucky and impactful at the same time.
I ,as a founder, invest my time and money to execute the project but mentors give their free valuable time to mentees. Mentees help the poor via their real action (money).
I can do nothing to support these people and be fine but I chose to act to help my people and the youth. Thanks to that, people follow me, support me and achieve more with me.
The question for you is what are you willing to suffer to make your life and other lives better?
Whether we like it or not, life is hard to predict and happen as we wish. What we can control is our thoughts and actions we have. Therefore, Choose wisely what mindset you should have and avoid
“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka/whiskey, and then we can have a party.”