Thursday, January 27, 2011

Officially on leave and a Conversation with Mr Anthony Teo

Today I had the fortune to converse with Mr Anthony Teo the advisor for special projects to NTU's presidential office. He showed great depths in knowledge and fervent passion for society. It was truly inspirational and encouraging that a person of his stature would be so willing to provide wise guidance to student leaders of SIFE.

My key takeaway from his sharing was how critical it is for us to be able to find purpose in everything we do. Specifically for entrepreneurship or social entrepreneurship, the key to success is not only the ability to identify the right problem, but also the purpose of our attempt to resolve that problem. "Purpose" is what truly drives us to bleed and sweat for all our efforts and excel in what we do.

He also added that this process of identifying the problem and the purpose may not be necessarily sequential. Some people find a purpose before the problem, and some people find the problem before uncovering the purpose. However, the key is to eventually be able to identify/uncover both, and the worst possible scenario is to be investing effort in something which has no purpose and where no problem existed in the first place.

This key takeaway truly made me contemplate on the invested efforts I have made in the past and present, to analyze if what I have done or is currently doing, are motivated by a purpose to resolve a real problem.

I have personalized the rule to "uncover the key problems faced by society, so as to develop solutions for them and to find a purpose in everything I do". Otherwise, I would rather not be wasting my efforts in such endeavours."

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