Here’s a story about when my perspective changed:
In the winter of 2010, I was just another kid on a high school basketball team. Until I wasn’t.
In one moment, a few words from my coach changed the way I saw the world. He told me I wasn’t just a passive observer on this team. I had to be a leader. It was my responsibility to help my teammates. I suddenly had a new lens through which to view the world.
That moment set me along a path of transformation to become a leader on my sports teams. Soon, my new mentality changed the way I did everything. I was an active participant in my education, my college applications, my internships and everything else I did. Rather than waiting for opportunities, I became a person who created them.
Needless to say, that transformation has had an enormous impact on my life. But most people never have that moment. Not because they don’t deserve one, but because these moments happen by chance.
I’m driven to create more of these moments.
I believe transformation can be designed.
I know it can be done.
Inherent in my hypothesis is that there is an irreversibility the perspective shift described above. It only needed to happen once for me to believe it for the rest of my life. There comes a point when a person crosses a threshold and becomes someone different. Once they adopt that new lens, there’s no going back. You can’t unsee it.
With enough time, we can help more people see possibility and take action. With enough resources, we could bring transformation to everyone.
But we’re running out of time. There are millions of people out of work. Many people struggle to make ends meet. Sadly, few of them feel empowered to make the change they want to see in the world. There are brilliant ideas locked up in people who don’t have seats at the table. Somewhere out there a child has a passion that can change the world, but they don’t feel ready to share it.
I’ve seen programs change people in just four years. I’ve seen internships do it in six months. But can we do it faster? Can we do it in a month? In a week? Or just a day?
The faster we can accelerate this process, the more people we can reach.
My goal is to get students to a transformative moment and push the boundaries of how fast we can do it.
That’s a goal I can commit to. I’m happy to say I will spend a year, a decade or even a lifetime trying to test how fast we can achieve transformation. How quickly can we help someone adopt a new lens? Because once you see the world as a leader, a creator, an entrepreneur, a social innovator, there’s no going back. You can’t unsee it and you become the change the world needs.