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. . .

by 17 Replies

About 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.

17 thoughts on “Learn to make the hard choices in life (Part 3)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    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.

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    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.

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    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.

    Reply
  4. Stephen Kamugasa

    These are great posts, Mr Masiyiwa. Thank you.

    Your ‘Good Samaritan’ theme, which incidentally seems to bind together all the five posts beautifully, is probably the best medicine the African continent needs the most in this day and age. You seem to have covered a great deal in all the five posts that there is little for me to add, except to draw your attention to a blogpost I recently published: “Though you are a lowly worm, O citizen, but you have teeth to thrash mountains, and beat them small.” I think it speaks to the issue of making ‘Hard Choices’ and, at the same time, it also speaks to the virtue of what it means to be a ‘Good Samaritan.’ You may look it up by clicking on this link: https://thekamugasachallenge.com/worm-citizen-teeth/

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflection:
    I dream of a day when a young African rises up to develop our own ‘Facebook’. Africa will never be the same from that day.
    This is the mission of the greatest generation Africa has ever produced—you guys!
    Maybe I should go off this platform, and not return until it happens. Not by way of protest but in order to spur you to do it!

    Call it #ToughLove!
    There is an urgency in my spirit over this:
    There is much more we can, and should be doing in this space.

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kako writes,

    Thank you for believing in African Youths. With people like you standing on our back. Everything is going to be possible.

    My reply,
    I will never stop believing in you, even when I leave platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

    What is important is for you to take the lessons I have taught you in the last five years and take them into the field to put them to work.

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Everly writes,

    I have always had that in mind too. I believe we can make something even more prosperous than Facebook. Its time to brainstorm and develop on our ideas. Thank you sir!..

    My reply,
    #Happy Africa Day!

    I too believe this is possible.

    Reply
  8. Samuel Imbeah

    Hello Dr. Strive,
    I will like to thank you for the great work you are doing and the great investments you are making in the African populace especially. Your good work will never go unrewarded. My name is Samuel. Together with a Nigerian friend of mine, I have started a company that seeks to embark on psychological research so as to provide research-based solutions to pertinent problems our African society is plagued with. The company goes by the name Research Expert. We are currently working on a project that seeks to provide students in second-cycle institutions in Ghana with an indigenous career interest inventory so as to help them make well-informed decisions with regards to their potential career paths. With your permission, i will like to send you a proposal that gives more details about the project. Thank you very much Sir.

    Reply
  9. Kenneth Yakubu

    Thank you so much for this insightful piece on time. I am especially inspired by the part on valuing oneself and by extension, valuing ones time.

    Reply
  10. wuxiaworld

    a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website,
    and keep on sharing more … good luck!

    Reply
  11. Muhammed Abdulazeez

    Sir, I am happy that successful person like yourself actually create the time to make impact on us. May God Almighty add more grease to your elbow.

    Reply
  12. ADEBOYE. N. Adebayo

    Sir, how and when can an aquaculture entrepreneur minded youths secure funds/grants or partnerships to go into catfish combine farming and hatchery?

    Thanks sir.

    Reply
  13. Tukai Tsitsi

    I believe in Success
    And I believe that dreams can change the world… especially our Africa and I most value the dreams that borne Econetwireless which has entirely contributed to change the telecommunications Industry locally & abroad.
    Through diligence & determination many people’s lives have been changed and dreams fulfilled through because of just one person’s dream … Mr Strive Masiyiwa and Mrs Masiyiwa.

    I have a dream too..
    I spend my precious time talking and educating my fellow countryman on how they may have their dreams fulfilled too
    We are in a financial revolution where someone’s dream to create freedom of expressions financially, has also been borne…The Crypo currency Era!!

    Most continents have embraced this opportunity and Africa, particurily Zimbabwe must not be left Behind.

    My fellow countrymen spend most of their time trying to cash out on their hard earned finances, instead of spending it on production to fulfill their dreams

    I am a Crypto Currency entrepreneur mining Bitcoin especially and value the time I spend educating and making awareness to change other people’s lives.

    I applaud you Sir Mr Masiiwa always on top of the game…already venturing and investing in this new revolution of money by accepting bitcoins on some of your products especially Airtime and it’s excellent…. http://www.bitrefill.com

    I’m just wondering though if you have considered venturing into Bitcoin / crypto currency mining too?? And anyone else who follows you blog??

    I mine with Bitclub Network a company registered onto the Blockchain. It’s like printing your own money.

    If not yet and if you’d consider Sir, you may hit my link to sign up and create an account
    There’s some information too on the sign up page that you may go through.

    Sign up link:- https://bitclub.bz/tfarai

    And for more information please do contact me on my number
    +263 773 987 356

    I’m all about to bring change to the people of Zimbabwe, Africa and the world over,

    I thank you

    Reply

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