5 Ways AIESEC Has Tutored My Life Decisions

Taken from LinkedIn   Like several others I work with today in AIESEC, I joined because as a student the job market pressured me daily to gain professional exposure. I, therefore, joined without having a mission or even a clear idea what I was actually joining. I have realized today that I haven’t had a moment to look back ever since.   To put it into perspective, I was a very difficult kid at school – that’s a whole different story. Reflection on it however, has driven me to become the individual I am today. Part of it is being someone who’s never guided by emotions and is profoundly self-aware of every aspect of himself as an individual and a leader.   Thus, naturally, I was sceptical about the organisation when I first joined. Since then I’ve had numerous ‘aha’ moments where I think I’ve just realized ‘what all this is about’.  Today, as a VP in our local subsidiary, I no longer try to explain it to myself. I accept my organization as a development journey similar to a roller-coaster with blind corners – the type of roller-coaster which I would’ve avoided a few years ago but is now the only kind I would stand in line for.  

1) Measure decisions in impact not success.

  My friends and family, they’ve always considered me to be a ‘successful career, easy benefits’ kind of individual. The ones I haven’t seen in a while probably still think so. The way we connect to people and what we enable them to do through AIESEC has left that nice little tale in ruins. I’ve never felt my work to be as meaningful as it is in AIESEC Sheffield. I suspect AIESEC is bringing forward the ethical dilemmas and important decisions of my future mid-life crisis.  

2) Invest emotionally in your environment.

  This is the most fundamental growth I have experienced in myself. The space we build around ourselves is the dearest thing anyone can have. Our homes, people we love, people we work with, even those neighbourhood celebrities – they’re all part of it. We have the opportunity to truly live it. Imagine if everyone did that.  

3) Weaknesses should be capitalized on.

  I’m inadequate at a casual small talk, just can’t do it, I get impatient. Conversation in a noisy bar or a shopping mall on bank holiday – also bad. What I enjoy infinitely more when connecting to people is to abide by what’s meaningful and actually build those relationships beyond the irrelevant content.   AIESEC not only instils a mindset of growth but enables people to chase change. Being utterly bad at something and having the will to break through is better than the skill level of ‘meh’. I’m not really working on my shopping centre skills, but I’ve realized that I’m amazing at something else instead.  

4) Pick roller-coasters with blind corners.

  Forget your comfort zone. People learn by doing, trying, failing, succeeding – learning is probably one of the most sustainable things we can do in the world. AIESEC puts us in the middle of this magic. This is literally textbook AIESEC. Shouldn’t even use the term ‘comfort zone’ any more. *idea noted*  

5) Ask yourself ‘why?’ – do it quite often.

  A lot of us when leaving AIESEC move on to become entrepreneurs in different fields and they become damn fine ones merely because they know to ask the right questions. It’s not always the answer that matters, it’s the quality of the question. This shouldn’t be limited to only unusual instances in our lives.   I’m grateful to a lot of people and several organisations in my life. AIESEC is the only organisation I keep failing to express my gratitude for because there’s something new behind every bend and I get cut off mid sentence. I feel lucky to be a part of it. The people in AIESEC manage to inspire me every day.

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