This morning I finished up the podcast I mentioned on Friday with Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and Peter Diamandis, and walked away very inspired by a project Peter's non-profit organization XPRIZE is leading and Tim and Tony have supported.
XPRIZE is an innovation engine that inspires humanity to solve the planet's greatest problems through incentivized competitions. Led by CEO Peter Diamandis, XPRIZE has held and is holding competitions to solve global issues within the following categories:
- Energy & Environment (think carbon emissions, renewable energy, transportation, etc.)
- Exploration (think Ocean and Space exploration)
- Global Development (think women's rights, hunger, cybersecurity, etc.)
- Learning (think literacy for adults and children in every corner of the globe)
- Life Sciences (think advancing medicine, curing disease, etc.)
The mission of XPRIZE is absolutely incredible, as you can see above. They are not afraid to think big- in fact, they are not afraid to think bigger than anyone else. Solving the global problems they have already identified and will continue to solve will transform the planet.
Thinking big was the theme of this podcast. That is because thinking big- that is, bigger than yourself, on a HUGE scale- inspires the passion and action that you cannot derive from any other kind of motivation. That is why I was so inspired by the Learning XPRIZE they were promoting on the podcast- a $15 million prize to create a software learning program for any child in the world to become fundamentally literate.
As of the date of this podcast (October 2014), there were 250 million illiterate children in the world, and all three of these men cited illiteracy as one of the fundamental causes of our problems on this earth, including violence, lack of resources, and rapid population growth. Just this morning, I read about two more acts of violence, including one in Turkey and one in Ivory Coast. People by nature are looking to attach themselves to social movements, but without access to basic education, children and young adults do not have the basis of information they need to make a good decision about which movement they should join. Tony mentions several times how the key to happiness and fulfillment for any individual is growth and progress, and to do that you have to be a lifelong learner. By empowering children to learn on their own with this new software, XPRIZE could transform the landscape of global learning and give every child on earth the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life. To join a movement for the betterment of humanity as opposed to ones for its destruction.
220 Youth Leadership supported this cause this morning by donating and by writing this post. We are so passionate about giving every student in the world access to the skills and tools they need to be successful, so we always get inspired by others who feel this way about education. XPRIZE is a 501(c)(3), so your donation to support their incredible projects are tax deductible as allowed by law. I included some links for their sites below.
Tim mentioned that when he was trying to figure out his next big project, a friend told him to ask himself, "what cause could you commit yourself to that would put your name in the history books 200-300 years from now?" Tim believed that the winner of this Learning XPRIZE competition could put themselves in that position, that this competition could ignite the fire inside of someone who is passionate about education but was searching for the means to make their mark.
This competition, or education for that matter, does not have to be your passion. But ask yourself, are you following your passion? Do you know what your passions are? If you answered no to either of those questions, the amazing people on this podcast have some great advice on how to find your passion or how to find the outlet to pursue your passion.
- Surround yourself with passionate people that are already big thinkers. Even if they do not share your passions, being around like-minded people can ignite your passion.
- Take action. As with just about anything, those who take action have the greatest impact. Try out some things that you are interested in, and if that turns out not to be a passion, then you have eliminated something, which can be as important as finding your true calling.
Will you be in the history books in 300 years? Please do not think of this as selfish- you will be in the history books based on the magnitude of your impact on others, either in terms of the power of your impact on a smaller group or the scale of your impact on a larger population.
Dream Big. Never Settle. Take action through your passions.