A Reflection of my first TKS Session

It was best said by Elon Musk “Work like hell. Put in 100 hour weeks every week. If others are putting in 40 hours and you’re putting in 100, even if you’re doing the same thing, you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year”.

At first, this may sound like a quote that is promoting competition but it is quite the opposite. This quote represents the importance of starting to discover your passion at an early age and giving it a 110% to reach full success. You must work hard in order to be successful at whatever it is you are doing. This boss mentality is no different when it comes to optimizing and achieving your full potential through the program called “The Knowledge Society”, which is one of North America’s leading innovation program for youth.

Today was my first session at the program, and I was absolutely moved by the panels, networking session, and inspirational talks. I not only changed my priorities, goals, but also my mindset in a matter of 3 hours.

One quote said by Nadeem Nathoo, one of the programs Director that stood out to me was “Unconventional success comes from following an unconventional path”. After spending some time reflecting after the session, I have decided to give my full priority to TKS and the work I will be doing throughout the program. A major realization for me was that school was truly not preparing us for the real world which is what I have been giving my full attention and focus to, like any average kid. However, the real world is where we will all eventually end up. Learning important skills such as networking, presenting, writing articles, and activating Linkedin will be the skills coming in use more often. Because let’s be real, how many times will we actually have to write an essay or analyze a story in real life?

However, it is genuinely the TKS process which has already created so many leaders and change-makers from the program. The three main steps of the cycle include:

  1. Explore: This is when you go out and explore different topics and technologies. Through this, you are not only understanding what you enjoy but what you may want to focus on.
  2. Focus: After spending some time exploring and really understanding the basis of different topics, you may gear towards one or two topics. Believe it or not, it is better to focus on two topics together than one topic because chances are there are fewer people who are looking into them together. This is how programs like Bioengineering as one example were developed at Universities. You are also more likely to be successful and leave a larger impact as not many others are viewing things in the same ways as you.
  3. Innovate: Now that you have dug deep and gotten really into your topic(s), it is time to start building, writing and leaving an impact. You could work on a start-up to solve an issue you see, explore more through an internship, work on projects using your knowledge and research.

This was the major cycle that we learnt as a way for everyone to unlock full potential and make the most out of the time in the program. Throughout the day, I learnt various lessons about failure, perseverance, and hard work which have widely changed my outlook on life.

During the networking sessions, I bonded with many of my other peers over the feeling of self-doubt defining us and not letting us reach our full potential. I am constantly battling with my inner feelings. Being a perfectionist I am constantly taking on and trying to balance all aspects of my life equally. I want to have perfect marks, a healthy social life, the best extracurriculars and be successful with TKS. After speaking to many others I have realized that I am not the only one afraid of failure, and being embarrassed. After hearing various alumni, many spoke to me about how they had also dealt with failure and explained the need for perseverance and hard work. Most of these things tied directly into the process defined in my article and the bumpy road you may face during the process. Here are some of the main things I took away:

  1. Everyone will face failure when they are trying to do something different, but you need to understand that it is normal. It will help you grow. It will give you an opportunity to reflect on yourself and realize what you could do to improve for next time. This is a learning experience, not a failure.
  2. Perseverance and hard work are two key elements when you fall down or face rejection. You must continue to get up and keep trying. It is in moments like these in which you have to ask yourself “what can I do better or how can I improve?”. It is all about taking risks, continuing to hustle, and staying motivated even in hard times when you may be frustrated.

These major lessons have completely changed the way I viewed success and failure. I have realized that you must always work for what you want. You can never expect anything amazing to happen for you or an opportunity to be given to you without working for it. I have been able to set my priorities straight, and set goals for the year. I am well aware that there will be ups and downs throughout this journey but I must be open to both. I will now be looking at failure as a failure, but rather a moment of improvement, and growth for myself. I will continue to fight and persevere when I do face any challenges or hurdles. Coming in with this optimistic and open mindset, I know I will be able to optimize my potential.

I’m a developer & innovator who enjoys building products and researching ways we can use AI, Blockchain & robotics to solve problems in healthcare and energy!