Most Successful People Share Their Best Advice to their Younger Selves
 

Most Successful People Share Their Best Advice to their Younger Selves – Part 2



Click on the World-Changer to see their advice to their younger self.

Justin Rosenstein | Kate Robertson | Keith Ferrazzi | Leila Janah | Lewis Howes | Liz Wiseman | Marina Cantacuzino | Marshall Goldsmith | Mary Barra | Martin Seligman | Sir Martin Sorrell | Mark Thompson | Max Landsberg | Mel Robbins | Michael Mann | Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | Nancy Lublin | Naveen Jain | Neil Pasricha | Nick Nanton | Oliver Hart | Oprah Winfrey | Pat Lencioni | Patrick Dixon | Paul C Brunson | Paul Polman | Dr. Peter Chee | Peter Diamandis | Peter Schwarzenbauer | Piers Morgan | Premal Shah | Price Pritchett | Rachel Bridge | Rashmy Chatterjee | Richard St. John | Rita J King | Rob Nail | Roelof Botha | Ronan Dunne | Sam Altman | Simon Sinek | Srikumar S. Rao | Tim Urban | Tony Hsieh | Vanessa Van Edwards | Vinod Khosla | Vusi Thembekwayo | Wendy Kopp | Wim Hof | Whitney Johnson | Yuval Harari |

See Part 1 for more advice from the following:

Adam Braun | Aicha Evans | Alfred Lin | Anu Jain | Angela Duckworth | Arianna Huffington | Asheesh Advani | Ashish J. Thakkar | Avani Patel | Bear Grylls | Bengt Holmström | Beth Kanter | Betty Liu | Bill Drayton | Brian Tracy | Bruce Poon Tip | Bryan Johnson | Carolyn Everson | Carson Tate | Chris Guillebeau | Dan Ariely | Daniel Gilbert | Daniel Pink | Dave Aspery | Dave Kerpen | Dave Ramsey | David Berry | David Sable | Dorie Clark | Dr. Demartini | Dr. Gary Chapman | Elio Leoni Sceti | Ellyn Shook | Gary Vaynerchuk | Geoffrey Moore | George Berkowski | George Church | Greg McKeown | Hadi Partovi | Hal Elrod | Helene Gayle | Ian Bremmer | Jacqueline Novogratz | Jacquelyn Zehner | Jamie Oliver | Jason Fried | Jason Silva | Jessica Jensen | Jim Clifton | Joe Gebbia | John Sviokla | Jonah Berger | Josh Elman |

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Justin Rosenstein

Co-founder of the Popular Work Tracking app Asana.

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Problems happen. Plans fail. Don't be disheartened when things don't go as you'd hoped. It's very easy – in life or in work – to overreact, to think that problems indicate that you are incapable, or that the project you've undertaken is doomed to failure. But almost any undertaking involves a steady stream of unforeseen difficulties and mistakes. The key is to not freak out; just calmly deal with each problem, one at a time, until you achieve your desired outcome, or feel inspired to choose a new one. With experience, you will learn to see the bigger picture, less fazed by life's ups and downs.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Justin Rosenstein is an American software programmer and entrepreneur. He is co-founder (along with Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz) and head of product at the collaboration software company Asana.

Justin has led the development of products that hundreds of millions of people use daily. At Facebook, he was the tech lead for projects including the Like button and Facebook Pages, and designed the in-house project management system that Facebook relies on to this day. At Google, he product-managed several projects in the communication/collaboration division, and created the initial prototype for Gmail Chat.

Justin majored in Math and got part way through a Master’s in Computer Science at Stanford. He is also a serious student of yoga, meditation, and cats.

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Kate Robertson

Founder of One Young World

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

This is YOUR life; maybe it's the only one you get? No-one else can waste it for you - only YOU. So VALUE it; value every single day. Life is the greatest thing we get - it's YOURS. Use it! Can't say these strongly enough. I wasted so much time and worry on nonsense. Now I wake up to a new day going 'Wow!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Kate Robertson served as Chairman of the Havas group from 2006 to 2015 and as Global President from 2013. Having grown up in apartheid South Africa, Kate’s worldview is defined by having witnessed the creation of its new way of life. Awed by the leadership of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kate believes in the limitless possibilities a sense of shared humanity can create. Inspired by her love for the Olympic movement and its values, One Young World gives young leaders a chance to meet their counterparts from every country in the world and resolve to make the world a better place.

One Young World stages an annual Summit where the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organisations are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World Counsellors. At the Summit, delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.

At past Summits, delegates were joined by a line-up of Counsellors that included Justin Trudeau, Emma Watson, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Sir Bob Geldof, Kofi Annan, Sir Richard Branson, Meghan Markle, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jamie Oliver, Jack Dorsey and Mary Robinson.

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Keith Ferrazzi

CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight & #1 Bestselling Author of Never Eat Alone

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

I guess my best advice is to always lead with generosity; give first and without any expectation that you'll receive in kind. Relationships aren't a quid pro quo, so just know that the strength of your relationships is what will buoy you when you need it.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Keith Ferrazzi is recognized as a global thought leader in the relational and collaborative sciences. As Chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight and its Research Institute, he works to identify behaviors that block global organizations from reaching their goals and to transform them by coaching new behaviors that increase growth and shareholder value.

A New York Times #1 best-selling author of Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail and Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time as well as a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune and many other leading publications, Keith’s gained over 20 years of experience, from the C-Suite to founding his own companies, and distilled those years and experiences into practices and solutions he brings to every engagement.

More recently, in partnership with Zappos’ Tony Hsieh and Groupon’s Brad Keywell, Keith launched Yoi, a digital onboarding tool that drives transparency, improved coaching, and real-time feedback between busy managers and their new hires. The platform utilizes practice-based learning and quantitative assessments to deliver increased productivity in the workplace.

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Leila Janah

Founder and CEO of Samasource, Co-Founder and CEO of LXMI

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Embrace the struggle. If you want anything great in life, you have go through the very dark and painful moments of building something. Nothing great has ever come out of a lot of easy days. Only through struggle is our character really tested.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I 100% agree! If only people knew the work that it took to make a post like this.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Leila Janah is the Founder and CEO of Samasource, Co-Founder and CEO of LXMI, and an award-winning social entrepreneur. Her work focuses on bringing living-wage jobs to poor women and youth to reduce poverty and build better communities.

Leila is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Director of CARE USA, a 2012 TechFellow, recipient of the inaugural Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award, and in 2014, was the youngest person to win a Heinz Award. She is the author of Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time.

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Lewis Howes

Top 100 Podcaster & New York Times Bestselling Author of The School of Greatness

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Love yourself. Exactly as you are. You are enough and you are going to create incredible results in your life.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Before Lewis Howes became a media sensation for empowering people and sharing ‘Greatness’ across the globe, he had his share of obstacles to overcome. From having a learning disability, which led to being alone and bullied in school, to being sexually abused as a child, to being injured and broke on his sister’s couch, Lewis’s story is the perfect example of how anybody can overcome the obstacles in their life and achieve greatness.

Fast forward a few short years, and Lewis is a New York Times Bestselling author of the hit book, The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 podcast in the world, The School of Greatness, which has over 30 million downloads since it launched in 2013. Lewis’s second book is The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives.

He was recognized by The White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Lewis has been featured on Ellen, The New York Times, People, Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, The Today Show and other major media outlets.

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Liz Wiseman

President of the Wiseman Group

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

While it is tempting to draw on the wisdom of experience and offer advice to my younger self, I actually find it useful to do the opposite — to remind myself what I did when I was young, hungry and full of hope. It helps me keep my thinking fresh and bold.

My younger self would tell me not to worry about looking foolish. She would remind me to be quick to say yes to hard things and figure it out as you go. She'd remind me that everything can be learned, so just ask good questions, experiment, and be grateful to your mentors along the way.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives around the world. She is the President of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.

She is the author of three best-selling books:
Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work
The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools
Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

She has conducted significant research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence and writes for Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and a variety of other business and leadership journals. A former executive at Oracle Corporation, she worked over the course of 17 years as the Vice President of Oracle University and as the global leader for Human Resource Development. As an advisor, some of her recent clients include: Apple, Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Roche, Salesforce.com, and Twitter.

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Marina Cantacuzino

Founder of The Forgiveness Project

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

It comes in two parts – I would say to my younger self BE CAREFUL, don’t take so many stupid and selfish risks. I got away with a lot of things when I was younger which if they'd gone wrong could have altered my entire life in a very negative way. I’ve often thought that if I hadn't had luck on my side I’d have so much to forgive myself for now. So the second part of advice to my younger self is to forgive yourself for all the mess, hurts, pain that you’ve caused because carrying that guilt and regret into your later life – even for stuff that DIDN’T happen – is just not helpful

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Marina Cantacuzino founded The Forgiveness Project in 2004, to set out to tell the real stories of people whose response to being harmed was not a call for revenge but rather a quest for restoration and healing.

Everything she has learnt about this thorny and complex subject of forgiveness has come from the people who have generously shared their stories with her over the years. Her book, The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age, brings together the personal testimonies of both survivors and perpetrators of crime and violence and asks the question whether forgiveness may have more currency than revenge in an age which seems locked into the cycle of conflict.

The book includes forewords by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, by award-winning author, Alexander McCall Smith, as well as endorsements from Jon Snow (not from Game of Thrones), Emma Thompson and many others.

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Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

#1 Leadership Thinker & #1 Executive Coach

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Imagine that you are 95 years old and facing death. Just before you die you are given a beautiful gift – the ability to go back in time and give the you, who is reading this note, coaching for life. What advice would the 95 year old you, who knows what really mattered and what did not matter, have for the you who is reading this note, right now? Whatever you are thinking now, do that.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Marshall, when you told me this I made the decision to commit 100% to my dream. I hope this struck a chord with the Head Starters.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Marshall Goldsmith was recognized as the #1 Leadership Thinker in the World and the top 5 Management Thinker in 2015, as well as one of the top ten Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the World and the top-ranked executive coach at the 2013 biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London.

Dr. Goldsmith is the author or editor of 35 books, which have sold over two million copies, been translated into 30 languages and become bestsellers in 12 countries. He also co-authored a book called Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be.

He has written two New York Times bestsellers, Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful – a Wall Street Journal #1 business book and winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year.

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Mary Barra

General Motors Chairman and CEO

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

“My mom grew up during the Great Depression. She taught my brother and me two lessons: There is no substitute for hard work. And work before you play.”

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Mary Barra is the Chairman and CEO of General Motors Company. She has held the CEO position since January 15, 2014, and she is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Prior to that, Barra served as the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors.

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Martin Seligman

Founder of Positive Psychology

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Be a contrarian: Look for the most basic premise of your discipline and ask what follows if it is false.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Martin Seligman is commonly known as the founder of Positive Psychology. He is a leading authority in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism. He is also a recognized authority on interventions that prevent depression, build strengths and well-being. He has written more than 250 scholarly publications and 20 books. Dr. Seligman’s books have been translated into more than twenty languages and have been best sellers both in America and abroad. Among his better-known works are Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being and Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life.

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Sir Martin Sorrell

Founder & CEO of Wire & Plastic Products

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Persistence and speed.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: You definitely used speed to write that comment, I see you persisted in using your advice when answering my question (See what I did there).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Martin Sorrell took a controlling stake in Wire & Plastic Products in 1985, a small UK manufacturer of shopping baskets and teapots. Today WPP is the world leader in advertising and marketing services, and proud parent to many of the industry’s biggest and most admired agencies. The group employs over 200,000 people in 112 countries, and its clients include 360 of the Fortune Global 500, all 30 of the Dow Jones 30 and 78 of the NASDAQ 100. In 2016, Sir Martin was named Britain’s best-performing CEO and the second best-performing CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review.

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Mark Thompson

Executive Coach & Venture Investor

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

We asked unicorns how you should launch your life & career: from Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, Oprah and Larry Page--even Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. We surveyed over 500 people Who had won the Nobel prize, Pulitzer Prize, Academy Awards, self-made billionaire is, presidents of nations from our labs at Stanford and Wharton. (Details available in my book success built to last: creating a life that matters )

The answer? Three essential p's to screen every opportunity:
1. Performance: Do I love learning and improving at this endeavor?
2. Passion: Would I feel passionate about this doing it for free even if my first attempts fail?
3. Purpose: Does this feel a part of something bigger than me... something that serves others in ways that attract their commitment; something that I'd be proud to leave as my legacy?

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Mark Thompson is an expert on executive leadership, business strategy, and innovation who has spent over 25 years leading teams and building companies from the ground up. He delivers actionable, valuable and practical advice for leaders at all levels of an organization. Currently a highly sought after executive coach and venture investor, Forbes called Mark one of America’s Top Venture Investors with the ‘Midas Touch’. Mark was recently featured as one of the “World’s Top Executive Coaches” by the American Management Association and #1 Thought Leader on Innovation and Engagement. He was named one of the “Top 30 Communications Professionals for 2015” by Global Gurus.

Mark advises top leaders in Fortune 500 and Global Fortune 1000 companies as well as the executive teams who are leading high-growth startup companies in Silicon Valley today. Mark Thompson has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of The New York Times Company since November 12, 2012. He also co-authored the book Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters.

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Max Landsberg

Partner at Mckinsey & Executive Coach

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

The same advice that my father did actually give my younger self, but which I should have done more of: “Always be at least just a little bit adventurous.”

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Max Landsberg works with senior executives and non-executive directors to strengthen the leadership of the organizations for which they are responsible and to help people and organizations to grow productively. He aims to bring a perspective that combines business strategy and insights into what makes for great senior leaders. This is based on 17 years’ experience as a consultant and Partner at McKinsey & Company, and 6 years’ as a Partner at headhunters Heidrick & Struggles. He published The Tao of Motivation: Inspire Yourself and Others (Profile Business Classics) in 1996 to help managers become better coaches. The book remains a classic in its field and its companion volumes The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You (Profile Business Classics) and The Tools of Leadership: Vision, Inspiration, Momentum have sold more than 250,000 copies in 20 languages. For several years thereafter his focus was primarily on leadership coaching and advice. He has served as a non-executive director of Roehampton University since 2005 and has served on the Remuneration and Employment Committees.

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Mel Robbins

Expert on Leadership & Defeating Doubt, Award-Winning CNN Commentator, Bestselling Author of The Five Second Rule

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Confidence and courage are both skills. They are not traits and they are not fixed. Instead, just like any skill, they can be built through practice. When I was younger, I struggled with self-doubt, a lack of confidence, and terrible anxiety. I didn't realize that these things weren't fixed. Once I understood that my level of confidence could be easily changed through daily acts of courage, my life really began to change. And that's a second piece of advice to my younger self: take action, even if you're afraid to fail/ When you fail, and you will, life has a funny way of working itself out.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Mel Robbins is an expert on Leadership & Defeating Doubt, Award-Winning CNN Commentator, and Bestselling Author of The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers trusted by global brands to design and deliver business expanding, life-changing, interactive keynotes that inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth. She started her career as a criminal defense attorney and went on to launch and sell a retail and internet technology company. Mel is currently one of CNN’s most popular on-air commentators and opinion writers.

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Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

I would advise: carefully weigh criticism. Understand that much criticism is offered in good faith, and one can learn from it and improve—as a scientist, as a communicator, and as a person—by taking it to heart and reflecting upon it. Understand too, though, that some criticism is not offered in good faith, but is instead intended to hijack an otherwise worthwhile and valuable conversation. Ignore it when you can, but stand ready to refute it when necessary. A century ago, Mark Twain said, ``A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.`` If ever there was a prescient admonition for our time it was that one.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).

Mann is the author of several books including his most recent work, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, which features cartoons by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles. Through satire, The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that man-made activity has changed our climate.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Distinguished Professor of Psychology who coined the concept of Flow

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Strangely enough, I really can’t think of any advice I would give my younger self . . . it seems to me that my younger self was pretty much able to do his best given the obstacles and limitations that unfortunately are part of anyone’s life . . .nothing I know now would have improved my life much.That is because I have been fortunate to have good parents, good friends, and good mentors, then a good wife and children, who led me along an often precarious, always difficult path to the point that I am now. Even if it were possible to change something, I would really not want to change anything in my past.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I had the immense honor of interviewing Mihaly for an upcoming project. I won’t lie, I actually had to search on Youtube how to pronounce his name before the interview!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is best known for his research on the experience of flow, a psychological concept he introduced in his bestselling book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics). The Flow State, where you perform at your best and lose your self of ego, has continued to draw attention from both researchers and the general public.

Csikszentmihalyi delivered a TEDTalk titled “Flow, the Secret to Happiness,” which has more than 3.5 million views. He has been the principal investigator on eight grants in the last 10 years, for a total of over $10 million. He is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He is also the founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC). The QLRC is a nonprofit research institute that studies positive psychology, the study of human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.

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Nancy Lublin

Founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Spend more time with your grandparents. And, have more sex.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I never thought that I would see the words “grandparents” and “sex” in the same paragraph, especially in this kind of post.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Nancy Lublin is the Founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line. Social entrepreneur Nancy Lublin harnesses people, technology, and data to change the world.

Nancy was the turn-around CEO of DoSomething.org. From 250k debt and no staff, she turned it into one of the largest teen organizations in the world with over 4.3 million active members and nearly 70 full-time staff, with $20 million annual budget.

She is also the founder of Dress for Success, the not-for-profit organization in over 1200 cities worldwide that provides interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to women making the transition from welfare to work.

We can clearly see why Fortune named her one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She has also authored a book, Zilch: How Businesses and Not-for-Profits Can Get More Bang with Less Buck.

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Neil Pasricha

Author of Five #1 International Best Sellers including The Happiness Equation

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Don't take advice. The answers are all inside you.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Getting answers for this post was a waste of time then, everything I did was for nothing (laughing emoticon on Whatsapp goes here).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Neil Pasricha is the Author of Five #1 International Best Sellers, including The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything. Neil shares recent breakthroughs in the study of happiness and inspires audiences to hit their full potential. A Harvard MBA, New York Times best-selling author, award-winning blogger, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world, Pasricha is “a pied piper of happiness” who dazzles audiences with ideas and frameworks that launch happiness into the stratosphere. He is also the author of the Webby Award-winning blog 1000 Awesome Things.

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Nick Nanton

Emmy Award-Winning Director and Producer

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Find ways to provide value to others and everything else will fall into place. You can always earn your way into a conversation, and then later into a relationship if you help provide value to others.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Nick Nanton is an Emmy Award-Winning Director and Producer. He produces media and branded content for top thought leaders and media personalities around the world. Recognized as a leading expert on branding and storytelling, Nick has authored more than two dozen Best-Selling books including Celebrity Branding You and Story Selling. He has produced and directed more than 40 documentaries, earning 5 Emmy wins and 14 nominations. Nick speaks to audiences internationally on the topics of branding, entertainment, media, business and storytelling at major universities and events. He is the founder and CEO of Celebrity Branding Agency.

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Oliver Hart

Nobel Prize Winner in Economics

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

What's hot now may not look so great in 30 years time, and so feel emboldened to go your own way rather than following others.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Oliver Hart is a British-born American economist who, with Bengt Holmström, was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to contract theory. His groundbreaking research on what came to be known as “incomplete contracts,” in which the rights and responsibilities of the contracting parties are not fully stated for all eventualities (because not all eventualities can be foreseen), influenced the design of alternative “rudimentary” contracts. His work also helped to rationalize decisions about whether particular public services should be privately contracted or government-run. He is also the author of Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure (Clarendon Lectures in Economics).

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Oprah Winfrey

Chairman and CEO at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

We reached out to Oprah and got her permission to quote from her Letter to her younger self which originally appeared on CBS in 2012, and the Oprah Magazine. Below is some of her advice mentioned:

“You've spent too many days and years trying to please other people and be what they wanted you to be. I understand how and why that happened now. You will have to learn that the wounds of your past-being raped at 9 years, molested from the time you were 10 through 14, getting whipped as a young girl by people who said they loved you because you ``stepped out of place`` and not even being allowed to show any anger or crying afterwards - that damaged your self-esteem. If only now you knew how much. Yet through it all, you managed to hold on to a belief in God and even more importantly - God's belief in you. That my dear will be your single greatest gift: knowing that there is a power greater than yourself and trusting that force to guide you.
From where I sit now viewing your journey, there really are very few regrets. Which means a life well lived. Even then you understood that success was a process and that moving with the flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement.
You have made me proud.”

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: WE GOT AN ANSWER FROM OPRAH. I can now retire.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, through the power of media. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened and uplifted millions of viewers for 25 years. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today. She is the author of What I Know For Sure and Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life.

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Pat Lencioni

Founder and president of The Table Group

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Get serious about your faith in God sooner because one day you'll realize that it is everything.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Pat Lencioni is the Founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement. Lencioni’s passion for organizations and teams is reflected in his writing, speaking and executive consulting. Pat is the author of ten best-selling books with nearly four million copies sold. After twelve years in print, his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: Team Assessmentremains a fixture on national best-seller lists. His most recent book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, became an immediate national best-seller.

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Patrick Dixon

Chairman of Global Change & Author of 16 Books

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Focus on what really matters each day and you will be amazed what you can achieve. Join forces with amazing people with vision and experience, and see your impact multiply. Be constantly curious about everything and everyone around you.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Patrick Dixon is a Futurist keynote speaker, Chairman of Global Change Ltd, author of 16 books including The Future of Almost Everything: The Global Changes That Will Affect Every Business and All Our Lives, Building a Better Business: The Key to Future Marketing, Management and Motivation and Sustainagility: How Innovation and Agility Will Save the World. Patrick is ranked as one of the 20 most influential business thinkers alive today by Thinkers50. He is also the founder of the international AIDS agency ACET, with programs in over 20 countries. Patrick lectures on banks, mobile banking, insurance, real estate trends, retail, marketing, management, motivation, logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, transport, travel, energy industry, IT, biotech, healthcare and future of other industries.

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Paul C Brunson

Entrepreneur, Author & Television Host

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Read more. A lot more.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: If only you gave a longer answer, I could have read more Paul (Just kidding).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Paul C Brunson is a Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. His goal is to help you live your best life. He is the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and shares his experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share. He also authored a book called It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love

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paul-polman-recovered-head-start-successful-entrepreneur

Paul Polman

CEO at Unilever

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

You become a true leader The moment you realise it's not about yourself.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON:

Paul Polman is the CEO of Unilever. He is also Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, a member of the B Team and sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact and the Consumer Goods Forum, where he co-chairs the Sustainability Committee.

Paul’s commitment to long-term, sustainable capitalism is reflected in his position as a member of the Global Board of Directors of Financing Capitalism for the Long-Term (FCLT), whose report ‘Measuring the economic impact of short-termism‘ provides evidence that a long-term approach can lead to superior performance for revenue and earnings, investment, market capitalization, and job creation.

Paul has played a significant role first in developing the Sustainable Development Goals, and now in promoting action towards their delivery as a member of the SDG Advocacy Group. His commitment to the SDGs inspired him and others to establish the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, whose flagship report, ‘Better Business, Better World‘, maps the economic prize for companies that align with the Goals. Paul is also a member of the recently launched Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism Project, and a Counsellor of One Young World. Since 2010, Paul has been a non-executive director of the Dow Chemical Company.

In recognition of his contribution to responsible business, Paul has received numerous awards and accolades including the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), the Oslo Business for Peace Award (2015), the UN Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award (2015) and the Singapore Government Public Service Star (2016). In 2016, he received France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in recognition of his efforts in galvanising business action on sustainability and for his involvement during the historic 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.

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Dr. Peter Chee

President and CEO of ITD World: The Global Learning Solutions Expert.

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Love is what matters most, so give lovingly, love what you do, do what you love and love yourself
Success is a journey to be enjoyed each step of the way with love.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Peter Chee is the President and CEO of ITD World: The Global Learning Solutions Expert. He is a Mega Guru who has developed leaders from over 80 countries. Dr. Peter Chee is the author of books with Brian Tracy, William Rothwell and Jack Canfield who holds the Guinness Book of Records for the most books on New York Times Best Seller List with 210 books and 125 million copies in print. He is the Inventor of the Coaching for Breakthrough Success Meta Model and the Situational Coaching Model.

Dr. Peter Chee is author of Coaching for Breakthrough Success: Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible with Jack Canfield. He is the author of: Becoming an Effective Mentoring Leader: Proven Strategies for Building Excellence in Your Organization and The Leader’s Daily Role in Talent Management (Asia Professional Business Management) with William J. Rothwell who is an award winning author of over 98 books.

He is Chief developer of the Certified Coaching and Mentoring Professional (CCMP) program which is fully recognized and approved by ICF (International Coach Federation) and is Recipient of the ARTDO International HRD Excellence Award.

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Peter Diamandis

Founder of the XPRIZE Foundation & Singularity University

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

First, find a mentor, someone you admire in the field you’re most excited about and offer to work for them for free.

Think of it as a free graduate education.

Going back a few centuries, apprenticeship was critical to one’s success and I think the concept of apprenticeship is very valid again.

Your mentor can offer you ‘a seat at the table’ where you can learn for real-world experiences at the highest level.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. In 2014 he was named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazine.

In the field of Innovation, Diamandis is Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight. Diamandis is also the Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan. He is also the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that studies exponentially growing technologies, their ability to transform industries and solve humanity’s grand challenges.

In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is Co-Founder/Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroids for precious materials. He is also the Co-Founder of Space Adventures and Zero-Gravity Corporation.

Diamandis is the New York Times Bestselling author of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World.

Diamandis’ mission is to open the space frontier for humanity. His personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.” In 2016, the Greek Government honored him by issuing a 1.2 Euro stamp into circulation.

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Peter Schwarzenbauer

Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Being innovative means to have the willingness of not being understood for a long time

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Peter Schwarzenbauer has more than 30 years of international experience with premium automotive brands, including BMW, Porsche and Audi, in Germany and abroad.

Peter began his professional career at BMW AG in 1984, in various sales and marketing capacities. After leaving the company in 2004, he pursued a number of managerial positions within the automotive industry at both national and international level, including President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc. In 2008, he was appointed to the Board of Management of Audi AG, responsible for sales and marketing., He then returned to the BMW Group as member of the Board of Management. Peter Schwarzenbauer is responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group.

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Piers Morgan

Daily Mail Editor & Television Personality

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Nothing, short of death or serious illness, is ever as bad as it seems at the time.
So don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-misery. The clouds always pass.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Don’t worry Piers, I’m sure you can use this advice next time you go on your Arsenal twitter rants.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Piers Morgan is a British journalist and television personality currently working as the US editor-at-large for the Daily Mail website Mail Online. Piers Morgan hosts his own interview show, Piers Morgan Tonight, and served a judge on America’s Got Talent from 2006 to 2011. He is the author of numerous books including, Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney and Misadventures of a Big Mouth Brit.

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Premal Shah

President of microfinance company Kiva

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Become a learning machine. Practice gratitude. Live to serve something bigger than yourself.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Premal Shah is President of microfinance company Kiva and is a leading social entrepreneur. He was selected to Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 List and was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009. Prior to Kiva, Premal joined PayPal early on and spent 6 years at the company. He is considered to be a part of the PayPal Mafia, a group of PayPal alumni who have gone on to found or co-found other successful companies, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors and Yelp. Premal has spoken widely on applying Silicon Valley breakthroughs to global poverty.

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Price Pritchett

Founded Pritchett & Associates (now PRITCHETT, LP)

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Set high goals—outrageously high goals—that you have a fierce passion to achieve. Then pursue them. Relentlessly.
As Alfred Adler said, “Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Price Pritchett, in 1974, founded the Dallas-based Pritchett & Associates (now PRITCHETT, LP), the first firm in the U.S. to specialize in merger integration strategy. Pritchett’s work in mergers and change management spawned a popular series of small, tightly written handbooks covering an array of topics including mergers, large-scale change, leadership, culture, plus personal and organizational performance. He is also the author of The Quantum Leap Strategy.

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Rachel Bridge

Author of Six Books including, How to Make A Million Before Lunch

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Don't be afraid to give something a go, even if it doesn't work out it will give you useful knowledge and experience.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Rachel Bridge is the author of How to Make a Million before Lunch, a journalist, and motivation speaker, specializing in business, personal development and entrepreneurship. She has written six books, the latest being Ambition: Why It’s Good to Want More and How to Get It. Rachel is the former Enterprise Editor of The Sunday Time, currently, writes for The Times and The Telegraph as well as speaking at conferences and events around the world. Prior to joining The Sunday Times, she worked for The Investors Chronicle, The Evening Standard and The Times.

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Rashmy Chatterjee

CMO, IBM North America

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Don't be afraid to think big and take risks. With every new challenge you take on, even if it sometimes backfires, you get closer to knowing what you are uniquely good at and where your true passion lies.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Rashmy Chatterjee leads Marketing and Communications for IBM in North America. Ms. Chatterjee is responsible for promoting the client experience, the IBM brand, and marketing IBM solutions. She held leadership positions in IBM’s Security Systems Division as the executive responsible for the integration of Q1Labs, a Security Intelligence company, and as the Sales Leader for the Security division’s North America business. Prior to moving to the U.S., she held multiple positions in IBM’s Growth Markets Unit. She was IBM Software Sales Leader for all Southeast Asian nations, India, and South Asia (ASEAN/ISA) and later had business responsibility for IBM channels, digital sales and geographic expansion in that region. Before joining IBM, she served as Deputy Director of Naval Design in the Indian Navy, where she was responsible for setting up the nation’s first Warship CAD/CAM center. She received a commendation by the President of India for this effort. She is a Strong Advocate for women in technology, having been the first female engineer to work in the Indian Navy. She has been a Director of MOUSE Inc. since April 27, 2016. Ms. Chatterjee graduated with an Engineering Degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.

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Richard St. John

Founder of the St. John Group

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Find your PASSION! Because if you love what you do, you’ll automatically do what leads to Success in work and life. You will WORK hard and FOCUS. You will PUSH yourself and come up with IDEAS. You’ll constantly IMPROVE and SERVE others something of value. And you’ll PERSIST until you succeed… But what if you don’t know your Passion? Well, just keep looking, because finding it will change your life!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: In the corporate business world, Richard St. John achieved success as a member of scientific staff at Nortel Networks R&D labs. For ten years, he was a researcher, marketing guru, and CEO speechwriter. He won design awards, did breakthrough consumer/user research, and masterminded creative production for many of Nortel’s largest product launches.

In the entrepreneurial business world, he achieved success after starting The St. John Group, an innovative marketing communications company that has been at the forefront of evolving technology for over three decades. He won top business marketing awards, including best corporate video and script in the world, and an IABC Gold Quill, the highest award in business communications. He is also an author of The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great. He did what he loved and became a millionaire.

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Rita J King

EVP for Business Development at Science House

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Take your work seriously. Don't take yourself so seriously.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: This quote is also going to be on a T-shirt!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Rita J. King is EVP for Business Development at Science House, a creative consultancy in Manhattan that also offers space in its iconic townhouse for customized creative team-building experiences. She has served as futurist at NASA Langley’s think tank, the National Institute for Aerospace, and is a Global Fellow at the Salzburg Global Seminar focused on technology, science, art and culture. She is the creator of a collaborative framework called the Imagination Age.

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Rob Nail

Associate Founder & CEO, of Singularity University

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Coming up for advice for my younger self is difficult because I probably wouldn't have recognized the advice as important when I needed it. I usually find that the advice comes to me when I need it, but sometimes I ignore it or don't recognize it as important at the time - so building a practice of reflection to better recognize and process inputs is important. However, as a general guiding principle, I wished that I had focused more time and effort building on my strengths. I spent a lot of time developing on my weaknesses or in areas that I knew little about. This allowed me to be a good generalist, but kept me from being truly unique and powerful in those areas where I had a natural edge.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Rob Nail heads Singularity University, an academic program that helps entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge technologies address global problems and impact the world. Before joining Mountain View’s Singularity this year, Nail co-founded Velocity11, which built robotics for cancer research and drug discovery and was acquired by Agilent. He also helped found (and is the president of) Alite Designs, which makes outdoor gear for camping and backpacking, and is a board member of Light & Motion, which designs bike, diving and other sports lights.

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Roelof Botha

Partner at Sequoia Capital

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

No regrets. Play to win and don't die wondering.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Fun Fact: Roelof and I went to the same college in South Africa.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Roelof Botha is one of Silicon Valley’s biggest superstars. Forbes Magazine recently named this South African as one of the leading venture capital investors in the world. However, he is not only an investor but also held several executive positions at some of the world’s biggest digital undertakings, such as PayPal, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram. He grew up in Pretoria and Cape Town and matriculated from Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck. He then studied actuarial science at the University of Cape Town and obtained his MBA at the University of Stanford in California, and in both cases was named the best student of the specific year. Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital and currently sits on the boards of Jawbone, Eventbrite, Evernote, Mahalo, Natera, Nimbula, Square, Tokbox, Tumblr, Weebly, Unity, Whisper and Xoom. He also works with 10gen, AssureRX, FutureAdvisor, Instagram, Mixpanel and MuSigma. He previously sat on the board of directors of Meebo and YouTube before they were each acquired by Google.

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Ronan Dunne

Executive Vice President and Group President of Verizon Wireless

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Your output is finite but your potential to impact and influence can be infinite. Your legacy will be determined more by what you make happen than what you do yourself. Focus on what you can bring to any situation that is unique and you will start to see your impact grow as fast as even your experience. That way you will leave your thumbprint on every situation and the outcome will be different because you were there.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Ronan Dunne is Executive Vice President and Group President of Verizon Wireless, with responsibility for leading and growing the operations of America’s most reliable wireless network, which generated nearly $92 billion in 2015 revenue. Ronan Dunne is responsible for all aspects of Verizon Wireless’ operations, including marketing operations, wireless operations, network operations, customer care and digital operations.

Before being named to his current position, effective September 2016, Dunne was chief executive officer of Telefónica UK (O2) for eight years.
Prior to joining O2 in 2001, he held senior positions in banking with Banque Nationale de Paris and in the corporate sector with Exel plc. and Waste Management International plc.

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Sam Altman

President of Y Combinator

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Usually, people are deciding between going to college (and usually working on side projects while they do so), joining a company, or starting their own startup. The secret is that any of these can be right answer, and you should make your decision based on the specific circumstances of each option. The critical point is that you want to do the thing that is most likely to get you on a path to do something great.
No matter what you choose, build stuff and be around smart people. “Stuff” can be a lot of different things—open source projects outside of class, a startup, a new sales process at a company you work at—but, obviously, sitting around talking with your friends about how you guys really should build a website together does not count.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Sam Altman is an entrepreneur, programmer, venture capitalist, and blogger. He is best known as the president of Y Combinator. He also co-founded and was CEO of Loopt, a location-based social networking mobile application. Part of Y Combinator’s first “batch” in 2005, Loopt was acquired by Green Dot Corporation in 2012. Paul Graham listed Altman as one of the five most interesting startup founders. He also wrote Startup Playbook.

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Simon Sinek

Optimist and Founder at Simon Sinek, Inc.

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

You don't have to know all the answers, and when you don't, you don't have to pretend you do.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact within their organizations and in the world — those with the capacity to inspire. He has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate, and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.

Simon is the author of the global best seller, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.
His third book is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration.

I’m not done yet. Simon’s latest book is Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.

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Srikumar S. Rao

Creator of Creativity and Personal Mastery

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Time flies quickly. Each day you are not radiantly alive and filled with joy is a day wasted. How happy you are is a choice. It is NOT dependent on external factors or the environment unless you decide to give away your power to them. The life you live is not 'real'. It is a construct, like the Matrix in the movie of that name. You made it with your mental chatter and your mental models. If you don't like any aspect of your life, you can deconstruct it and then build it up again. This is something you will do over and over for the rest of your life.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Srikumar S. Rao is a speaker, author, former business school professor and creator of Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM), a course designed to affect personal transformation. He is a TED speaker, and has authored Are YOU Ready to Succeed?: Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life,which is an international best seller, and Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What (Business Skills and Development), a best seller on Inc.’s “The Business Book Bestseller List.” He is also the creator and narrator of the audio-course The Personal Mastery Program.

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Tim Urban

Writer/Illustrator of Wait But Why

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

My advice to my younger self would be that as I embarked out into the world and tried to start a career, the great challenge I’d be facing would be from within my head, not out in the world. There are two things to understand here, the “in my head” part and the “out in the world” part, and I didn’t understand either nearly well enough.

For the “in my head” part, I had no idea about the concept of two competing forces inside of me (what I’ve been calling the higher being and the animals), battling for control. I thought the battle was me against the world, and by completely missing where the real battle was, I was totally unprepared to help the right side win. I was an amateur on that battlefield and I was beaten soundly for a bunch of years as a result.

Meanwhile, I had the “out in the world” part all wrong as well. I saw the world as huge and daunting and over my head, and I took it as a given that luck played a large part in how things unfolded. But the truth is, if a reasonably smart, reasonably talented person goes hard for what they want—if they ignore the odds, scoff at conventional wisdom, stomp on irrational fear, and internalize that there’s no such thing as luck, only patience and persistence—then the world is no match for them. For a person like that, the world is easy.

The challenge is to be “a person like that”—that’s the hard part. Coming out of college, I thought I was a superhero entering a gladiator pit. The thing I missed was where that gladiator pit was. If I had understood this as well then as I do now, I would have done a lot of things differently.

Oh, also—I would tell him that if you push the little tabs in on the ends of a Saran Wrap roll, it holds the roll in place when you pull on the plastic. I just learned that recently and it would have saved me a lot of annoyance if I had known it back then.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Tim is the writer and illustrator of the popular blog Wait But Why, a site where he writes posts about life, happiness, procrastination, relationships, AI, history, aliens—almost everything actually. Combining long form and stick figures since 2013. Tim earned his A.B. from Harvard University, graduating cum laude with a major in Government. He also co-founded ArborBridge, which offers tutoring for a variety of subjects, including graduate exam preparation, ISEE, SSAT, TOEFL, and more.

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Tony Hsieh

CEO of Zappos

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Be unapologetically true to yourself, both in business and in life in general... if you do, and broadcast that to the world, over time, the right people will find you.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Tony Hsieh is an American internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is the CEO of the online shoe and clothing shop Zappos. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded the internet advertising network LinkExchange, which he sold to Microsoft in 1999 for $265 million. He is the author of the bestselling book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.

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Vanessa Van Edwards

Bestselling Author of Captivate: Use Science to Succeed with People

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Curate your network. Quality is better than quantity. You are going to meet with some amazing people--connect with them deeply. Don't say yes to everyone on LinkedIn. Say yes to the right people in real life. I always thought I had to connect with everyone, but actually connecting with the right people proved more valuable and fulfilling.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioural investigator and national best-selling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. She is also a corporate speaker and body language trainer specializing in science-based people skills. She runs Science of People, a human behavior research lab in Portland, Oregonwhere she studies charisma, influence and power body language.

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Vinod Khosla

Billionaire & Founder of Khosla Ventures

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

You are limited more by what you think you can do than what you can actually do. And don't listen to elders, experts, advisors. Follow your gut but be realistic about questioning and testing yourself.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: If you are saying that I shouldn’t listen to elders, then that means I shouldn’t listen to your advice. This then means that I should listen to my elders, meaning that I should listen to you. I’m confused, Vinod.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Vinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor and technologist. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Khosla ranks among the richest Americans and he is one of the most influential people in the Silicon Valley. Since the age of 16, when he first heard about the founding of Intel, he dreamt of starting his own technology company.

Upon graduation, Vinod co-founded Daisy Systems, the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers. The company went on to achieve significant revenue, profits and an IPO. Vinod then started the standards-based Sun Microsystems in 1982 to build workstations for software developers. As the founding CEO of Sun, he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.

Vinod’s greatest passion is being a mentor to entrepreneurs building technology-based businesses. He is also a supporter of many microfinance organizations in India and Africa. Vinod is a founding board member of the Indian School of Business (ISB).

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Vusi Thembekwayo

Top International Speaker & CEO of My Growth Fund

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Don't rush, life unfolds at its own pace. The path is not always straight but stay focused and be kind to yourself.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Vusi Thembekwayo is one of the youngest directors of a listed company and is the CEO of a boutique investment and advisory firm, My Growth Fund. He also serves on several boards. The edge of chaos is the world in which he lives.

Vusi received the Meetingsnet Editors 2015 top 12 international speaker award. As a Global Speaker, he doesn’t just talk business – he lives it. He does more than inspire revolution, he initiates it. He has been the catalyst for change in businesses across the globe through expertise in strategy, leadership, and sales. New York, London, Paris, Lagos, Jersey, Guernsey, Rio de Janeiro, Dar es Salaam, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Colombo, Nairobi, Kampala, San Francisco and another 21 global cities have all experienced Vusi.

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Wendy Kopp

CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

I’d tell my younger self that ‘this is a long game.’ Meaningful, sustainable progress in the face of complex and entrenched social challenges requires a sense of urgency – but also time. It takes building long-term relationships, investing in strategies that could pay off over years instead of quick fixes that don’t address root issues, and taking care of ourselves and others.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential. Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She also authored A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All.

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Wim Hof

The Iceman and Creator of the Wim Hof Method

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Breathe Mother#^@%*&

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I had to beep Wim’s comment because this is a family article. It’s also funny to point out that Wim Hof is the only person in this article who has a Hoodie on. That’s why he’s called the Iceman!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Wim Hof is internationally renowned for his countless ice endeavors that range from being up to his neck in a cylinder filled with ice cubes for over 90 minutes, swimming long distances under polar ice, running a marathon barefoot to climbing the Everest in nothing more than a pair of shorts. It gained him worldwide fame and his nickname: The Iceman. Wim has shown what the human body is capable of once you find the flow within your physical and mental state. Right now he especially sees his new challenge in passing on his method to others to give everyone the opportunity to reach out and do more than what they thought they were capable of. Through the right training and exercises, you can strengthen your inner nature and prevent disease.

Wim Hof has set 21 Guinness World Records with the most exceptional and unique performances. Through his exercises and workouts, Wim has achieved the following:

Ran a marathon on sandals above the Arctic circle wearing only shorts.

Ran 1/2 a marathon barefoot above the Arctic circle wearing only shorts.

He officially swam under ice for 66 meters, unofficially swam under ice for 120 meters with one breath.

Hanged on one finger at an altitude of 2000 meters.

Climbed the highest mountains on earth in only shorts.

Ran a full marathon in the Namib desert without water consumption.

Known for his book Becoming the Iceman, this Dutch daredevil rose to fame for his Wim Hof Method, that aims to increase energy, improve sleep quality and decrease stress.

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Whitney Johnson

Management Thinker & Author of Disrupt Yourself

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

When in doubt, and I was often in doubt about what to do next, I would walk through the door that would in turn open more doors, not less.
Sometimes we are truly indifferent, but we make choices, that close off options. Like when I was a senior in high school my mother talked me out of calculus because I wouldn't need it. That closed doors. Given my career, that would have been a good open door. I would want my younger self to keep doors open.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Whitney Johnson was recognized as one of the world’s most influential management thinkers in 2015, and was a finalist for the Top thinkers on Talent at the biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London. She is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She is formerly the co-founder of Rose Park Advisors alongside Clayton Christensen, She has received widespread recognition for her thinking and was named one of Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter in 2014. She co-founded the popular Forty Women Over Forty to Watch and is a fellow at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards. She also authored Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.

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Yuval Harari

International Bestselling Author of Sapiens & Homo Deus

THEIR ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES:

Learn to tell the difference between reality and fiction, and the best way to do that is by observing suffering. Things that cannot suffer – such as nations, religions and corporations – are just fictional stories invented by humans. If you want to understand reality leave aside all the stories you ever heard, and just observe your pain, your anger, your fear.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: MIND BLOWN. That’s the best way to end this post. Luckily his name ends with “Y” – the stars were aligned!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is the author of the international bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002 and is now a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He specialized in World History, medieval history, and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?

Prof. Harari twice won the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality, in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History’s Moncado Award for outstanding articles in military history. In 2012 he was elected to the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences.

There you have it – the best advice from over 100 world-changers.

If you are here, you have probably not read the whole list of advice (If you did then you are so cool, we should be friends).

 

I really hope that some of the advice led to a shift in your mindset.

 

P.S I profusely apologize to all the people who I contacted who thought that I was spam artist. Sorry, Bill Gates and Elon Musk. If you ever read this at least now you know the truth.

P.P.S I don’t know if I will ever be able to top this article. I’m 22 and I might as well retire because I have peaked too early. I hope this post gives you a head start in life!

If you want to hear more useful advice, listen to my show where I interview the most successful & inspiring young people in the world and subscribe to my newsletter below (I won’t spam you).

 

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Shivad Singh

Shivad Singh is a 22-year-old Entrepreneur, 5x Author, and Host of the Head Start Show. He is so passionate about helping young people that he fears a Zombie Apocalypse purely because there will be no one left to inspire. Due to his business skills and color of his skin, he is a.k.a "Guru Head Starter".

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