Yesterday, I read Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard Commencement Speech.
He made very important points about purpose … about having a sense of purpose.
The question that came to my mind was, “What decisions did he take ten years ago that had resulted in his success today?”
And then I asked myself, “Of the decisions I make today, what will be the results in 2027?”
I think I can ask you the same question: “What will be the results of the decisions you make today in 2027?”
Your decisions about technology will play a crucial role on your success story in ten years.
I am not talking about making any novel discovery. I am talking about the little things, the simple things.
If Facebook were a country, it would have a population of 1.9 billion, surpassing China’s. But Zuckerberg and his friends didn’t just get up and have a bang!
They started from their college dorm, from that nucleus, planting a seed that will grow into a baobab tree. From helping Harvard students network, they moved on to Ivy League schools and then this is what we have today as Facebook. As Zuckerberg describes,
[t]he thing is, it never even occurred to me that someone might be us. We were just college kids. We didn’t know anything about that. There were all these big technology companies with resources. I just assumed one of them would do it. But this idea was so clear to us — that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day. I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you’re sure someone else will do it. But they won’t. You will.
Indeed, technology is shaping the world. It is shaping how we think. It is taking away jobs from the technologically unskilled. If it is not too obvious yet, then I want to make a prediction. My prediction is that in the next ten years the things that will SHARPLY set people apart in the job place will not be language or communication skills but technological skills.
So ask yourself: “What will set me apart in the next ten years from that person who also has a first class?”
Is it the fact that you can type 60 WPM? Oh come on. You must be joking. Children are coding and you are here talking about 60WPM?
In 2007 I started writing my first book. And I started my first blog. The following year when I completed the manuscript, the hard disk crashed and I lost everything. I had to rewrite the book.
That experience taught me a lesson about tech that I will never forget: never trust the level of technological skills you have. You must learn something new about technology everyday. You must start developing the necessary technological skills now! Otherwise, in the next 10 years, you will feel sorry for yourself.
What skills will set you apart from the rest in the next ten years? It all boils down to the decisions you are taking today. And it’s not just technology but every other aspect of your life.
Mark Zuckerberg made very important points:
…finding your purpose isn’t enough. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. …. Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. …. But it’s not enough to have purpose yourself. You have to create a sense of purpose for others.
What sense of purpose are your decisions today creating for others? What sense of purpose will your decisions today create for others in 2027?
It is that sense of purpose that made me major in Classics at the University of Ghana when, since the mid-1980s, no one had.
It is that sense of purpose that makes me convene, every semester, an undergraduate mentoring class free of charge.
It is that sense of purpose that makes my wife and I mentor young people from all over, both here and abroad.
So I leave you with this question: When you enter 2027, what results will you see about the decisions you took today?
Wherever I will be in 2027, I will be glad to read your answer to my question.