In celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Day, please read this post from one of our youths with their perspective on self-fulfillment and the path to "success".
In approximately 5 months, I’ll be starting my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. I’ve been preparing for this moment my whole life, this next step I’ve been told will land me the coveted 9-5 government job with an amazing pension.
As a young person, you are taught by society, school and parents that the only way to be successful in life is to go to school, get good grades, get a degree, get a job, then retire. But with the world slowly changing, being educated no longer guarantees a job or a way to support yourself financially; self-fulfilment and individual success no longer require a degree.
Technology has opened a door for anyone to innovate and create. We all know the story of Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard then went on to found Microsoft, one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Or Jeff Bezos, the e-commerce giant who founded Amazon in his garage in 1994, and is now the wealthiest person in the world. A common thread between both of these individuals is that they are innovators.
It is being innovative and working on what you are passionate about that has the most merit. About a year ago, I met “Chris” in a homeless shelter, where he’d been staying for the past few months. Chris had not graduated high school and had recently moved to Toronto from Ottawa for a fresh start. However, despite his educational background, Chris was one of the most brilliant and motivated people I had ever met in my life. Many of our discussions surrounded the value of education, but also the importance of pursuing your passions. He was passionate about fashion and design but was also intrigued by how the market works. He took these two passions and is now working on a small startup which sells custom hats he personally designed. People like him that inspire me, simply by showing that individual self-fulfilment is not about how much money you make, but by what you bring to the world.
As the world continues to change with the advent of new technologies, it is now more important than ever to think outside of the box, and focus on creating and innovating rather than money making. World Creativity and Innovation Day provides the perfect time to think of better and new ways to accomplish goals. There will always be a reward if you follow your dreams and pursue your passions, and it’s nice to know that the world is becoming more accepting of how people choose to live their lives.