Graduation Speech by Anne Nasumba, Cohort 5
Self. Process. Adventure.
It has been a little over 5 months, unbelievably. This period, above all else has taught me to pursue greatness.
I joined Lapid out of a great need to be prepared for my career, and had little clue the great lessons I would pick up from investing in myself. It is here that I grew a sense of self awareness. I realized that I am a powerful tool: one that can make or break me. That my choices, coupled with action would mean an actualization of goals. We are freed to be self and encouraged to be in constant pursuit of our inner self. This particular lesson has gotten me to appreciate an introverted self that is passionate about communication. I would fight often with myself about not interacting and speaking out as I supposedly should, breaking my spirit each time. When that happens now though, I remind myself that I am only as good as I tell myself I am. No external force has power over personal conviction.
As a millennial, I often feel the need to achieve faster and now. Prolonged periods always seem like eternity.
Just the other day I was working on a savings plan and my financial advisor encouraged that I plan for 7 years. SEVEN YEARS! I couldn’t even imagine saving up for such a long period without an instant result so to say. I even began thinking, since I want this piece of land and I know how much it will cost, why not just increase my source of income and get this over with?
But then the process, the beauty in time. The great city of Rome was not built in one day, Cathedrals needed lots of planning, precision and time to bring out the magnificent structures that have stood the test of time. It is much more gratifying when you take time to grow intellect, to invest and to groom behavior. It is no overnight sensation.
Lapid encouraged me to appreciate the journey of growth. To accept that it will take time, 10,000 hours of practice, slow but sure steps to achieve set SMART goals. And when I feel that my millennial self is creeping back in, I just think of Michelle Obama and her strength and commitment to her family and the President of the United States of America, Oprah Winfrey and her commitment to self-growth over years that has grown a power brand and consequently encouraged many who feel marginalized; I think of Wangari Maathai and the time and years it took for her voice to be heard and action toward environmental conservation be taken; I think of my younger brother and his amazing architectural projects every semester. It cannot be achieved in just a day.
There is something about experience that makes lessons more memorable. Best teacher by all means.
I experienced great minds here; mentors and fellow classmates whose interaction challenged me and instilled a sense of appreciation for service, talent and society, with whom I have walked this journey and will keep moving forward together. I have experienced a great people through Ethiopia; a strong cultured and friendly people whose economy is growing steadily owing partly to the massive infrastructural development in the country. I have experienced service; giving my time and effort for the good of others through community service and knowledge sharing.
The Lapid experience helped to dig deep within myself, to ready me for a journey within, to unlearn half-truths picked up through my life then emerge, ready to take on my life’s purpose.
I made an investment in myself 5 months ago. Standing here today, I am confident that I have grown and are in pursuit of greatness. As we experience Lapid today, I would like to echo these three things: The Power in Self. The Power in a Process. The Power in Adventure. Step out of your comfort and experience a world of tremendous possibilities. Step out and be the very best version of yourself.