Learn to make the hard choices in life (Part 3)

Learn to make the hard choices in life (Part 3)

__How do you “spend” your time?

In the past few weeks, we’ve covered some very serious topics, and I have been really touched at your outpouring of love and caring, and your thoughtful comments. Today I want to pose a question: As entrepreneurs, and in life, in general: How do you “spend” your time?

This month, whilst thousands of young people are being handed their diplomas after years of study (this is graduation season in many countries) the tragic fact is that, in some places around the world, innocents are being shot, held hostage, live in war zones, or can barely find a meal to eat.

I can see from your comments in these recent weeks (as often I do) that there’s huge kindness and faith amongst you on this platform. I know your prayers have been heard and deeply appreciated. It’s been really moving to me.

Meanwhile, whilst life can have many challenges and heartaches, let them never freeze you in fear, or in any way keep you from moving forward believing in your dreams and executing your plans…

Last Thursday, I was honored to give the keynote address at the New York University (NYU) School of Law convocation held at Madison Square Garden, where hundreds of international postgrad students from some 50 countries became “Master of Laws” (LLM) with specializations in areas like environmental and energy law; international taxation; competition, innovation and information law; international business regulation, litigation and arbitration, and many more. (NYU is ranked the #1 international school of law!)

And then this past weekend, 10 international undergraduates who, through the HigherLife Foundation my wife and I have supported over the years, received their undergraduate degrees from Morehouse and Spelman Colleges! We are so very proud of them, and all our students still studying.

All over the world, every single day, new generations of young people are heading out to study, work or start new businesses… eager and energized to tackle the world’s challenges with fresh eyes, hearts and minds.

Quick advice: No one can tackle everything at once. Focus. Decide. Say no if need be. Don’t give up, unless you figure out that the road you’re on really is a waste of time after all. In that case, dust yourself off. Move on. Time is precious.

Everyone, wherever or whoever they are, faces the same challenge each and every day:

__How to “spend” their time… No one gets more than 24 hours.

Some things will have to wait till later, as I wrote here a few weeks ago. Like I decided to sell my beloved music system when I moved back to Zimbabwe years and years ago. (Now I have one again!)

Scores of articles and books are written on time management, and I’ve written about it here before. Today here’s just one simple approach to think about:

Look at everything you need to do, and put each task in one of four boxes:

# Important but not urgent: Decide when you will do it.
# Urgent and important: Do it immediately.
# Not important and not urgent: Do it later.
# Urgent but not important: Delegate it to someone else.

What do you think? (This is from the “Eisenhower Matrix” named after a US President 50+ years ago).

Over the ages, it has become a truism, but it it is true (especially for entrepreneurs!): #TimeIsMoney. Spend it wisely.

Congratulations once again to all the graduates celebrating this great milestone (a testament to their successful time management, as well!) and to their families.

To be continued. . .

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

3 Replies to “Learn to make the hard choices in life (Part 3)”

  1. Afterthought 1.
    The graduate student speaker, João Marecos, who spoke before me at NYU was quite impressive and wise for his young years. He said something like this: “It is dreams that drive us. It is dreams that get us out of bed each morning. It is dreams that give us something to chase and to fight for…”

    “Dreams may fuel our life, but memories are our life. . . We have the power and the responsibility to build the memories we want.”

    Make space too, said this young lawyer, for the “small, random, special times, with friends and family.” Food for thought.

  2. Afterthought 2.
    “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world,” wrote Anne Frank (a young Jewish Holocaust victim who spent her time in the last two years of her very young life, writing her thoughts in a diary whilst in hiding during the World War 2 German occupation of the Netherlands). #RespectEveryMoment.

  3. Afterthought 3.
    “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time” said M Scott Peck. “Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” I have shared this before but it’s worth sharing again.

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