Dear Fellow Graduates:

I, Amit Jain, was in your very shoes just over two decades ago!  Was I nervous; was I anxious; was I unsure - yes I was.  If you are feeling like what I was; you are absolutely fine. 

My journey; some of you might have heard me speak to a classroom full of young and eager students on September 20, 2016; started in a small town in India with just dreams and blessings of my parents.  This journey brought me to Lexington, to UK, to teachers like Dr. Easter; Dr. Miller and Ms. Ketch and most of all gave me experiences that have largely contributed to who I am today.

In my journey; I have learnt a few things that I would like to share with you:

No one is self-made.  The biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smartness, ambition, hustle and hard work. 

There are a lot more variables involved in an individual's success than society cares to admit.  We pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from.  The importance their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing all play a very important part.

The variables that mattered to me are:

Demographic Luck

Collection of Experiences

Opportunity at Hand

Big Dreams

Leap of Faith

Role in the Society

10,000 hours of Perseverance

Relationship of Knowledge and Intelligence

Demographic Luck is the opportunities one has in relation to your age and the cycles of developments around you.  The world today is going through an unprecedented disruptive cycle.  All of you are the best poised to jump on these disruptive cycles as the tide is cresting.

Collection of Experiences are nothing but a sum total of your journeys from birth till any point in time.  Make every effort to constantly enrich these experiences even if it means that you have to go out of your comfort zones.

Opportunity at Hand will only last a fleeting second in relation to the time we spend on this earth.  Don’t think too hard; trust yourself - let your experiences guide you and take the opportunity. 

Big Dreams are the only thing that don’t need any effort!  No harm comes in dreaming big!  If you don’t dream it you will never try it.

Leap of faith is equal to a sum of experiences; opportunities and dreams.  Every disruption in this world today - from the steam engine to artificial intelligence has been one individual’s leap of faith.

Your Role in the Society around you will be the biggest contributor to your personal happiness index.  You cannot be happy till your ambient environment does not allow for it.  You are the biggest contributor to that ambience.

10,000 Hours of effort is the fundamental basis of all creation.  It is not about counting the hours of work but about the realization that perseverance, persistence and patience will get you to the success you aim for.

Knowledge is what you learn; Intelligence is what you do with the knowledge.  We are moving towards a world where knowledge is being democratized like never before; the processing power of this knowledge is a direct result of all the above variables.

I sincerely hope that I have been able to summarize my learnings of 46 years in a few hundred words and will hopefully help you in your journeys.

 

Thank you,

Amit Jain

Class of 1995