Actually time is neutral. It can be used either destructively or constructively. Martin Luther King, ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’, p271.
The quote above is one of my driving forces. Time is neutral – how will we use our lives? When I’m on my deathbed, I want to look back with a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Accomplishment doesn’t mean I need to succeed, but it means I need to have TRIED. Do I want to make this world a slightly better place before I leave? Or do I want to renounce all responsibility and live my life for myself and my small world, like too, too, TOO many people do?
I know I’m taking a risk. I turn 20 next week and I haven’t been to University, because I don’t know what to study and I don’t want to waste my time. I haven’t built up much of a resume. I haven’t been working within the system. Sometimes a doubt surfaces: What if I don’t make it? What if I don’t become a social entrepreneur? What if my projects aren’t successful? What if I have to return to the system and work for someone else, but have no proper credentials to get a decent job?
Every time this doubt arises, I again remind myself: What if I don’t take the risk? What if I did the safe thing, went to University, and went to work for someone else? Would I be satisfied at the end of my life? The answer is no.
Bornstein talks about entrepreneurs being risk-takers, and I never fully related to the concept until recently. The image that came to my mind of risk-taking was purely operational, such as big company decisions, investing money, and so on. Now with my 20th birthday coming up, the future seems so much bigger. I’m beginning to understand Bornstein’s concept of ‘risk-taking’ in a different light, and relate to it. My risk is more personal; it’s the knowledge I’m choosing a life that offers no certainty of success or failure, a future where I will rely on myself and people more than a system. I’m nervous, I’m excited. I believe I’m on the path of true life. Hopefully I’m also on the path to becoming a successful social entrepreneur.
After a few small ups and downs (nothing too serious), I’m once again on the quest to make a new idea become a reality along with a friend in Panama, another visionary. We want to decrease organic waste and promote environmental and social awareness in Panama. As with any project, I know there will be challenges, I know it will be hard. Up to date this is the most detail and effort I’ve put into the actual writing up and research of an idea (I’m only just learning how to write up proposals and so on).
‘Our greatest power comes from within’. -Robert Cutrell
One concept we discussed in class was the ‘Inner Locus of control’. A friend who’s a yoga teacher calls it ‘the inner source’. Once we identify with our ‘inner locus of control’ or our ‘source’, power comes from within. We ‘self-empower’. Things happen AROUND you, things don’t happen TO you. This brings me back to the importance of TRYING: external failure (collapse of your project, loss of money, ideas crushed) is not truly failure. We only make it failure if we internally accept it as failure.The doubts always re-appear: Maybe my abilities won’t be enough; maybe I don’t have the financial literacy to run a project, maybe, maybe, maybe… All I know is that if I back away from the challenge of life, of becoming a social entrepreneur, I will have failed before I’ve even begun. In my opinion, TRYING is the ultimate success, regardless of what happens.
Things happen AROUND you, things don’t happen TO you. Time can be used constructively or destructively.