The former Consul General of India to Liberia and the Founder and CEO of the Jeety Trading Corporation has called on the graduates of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University to use their skills, knowledge and everything that were impacted into them while going through the routine academic journey to make real and meaningful change with them and become problem solvers. He said they may not be able to solve or fix all of their problems, but surely they can fix some because they are placed in the position through the education they have received.
Mr. UPJIT SINGH SACHDEVA, commonly Mr. Jeety, made the call on Thursday, April 22, 2021, when he delivered the keynote address at the 30th Convocation program of the University held at Po River, Bomi County. Mr. Jeety who praised the University for the steady progress it has made over the years said that before the advent of other universities in the 90’s A.M.E. Zion University competed and measured to the few viable and outstanding universities in Liberia including the University of Liberia, Cuttington University and W.V.S. Tubman University and that given the farsightedness of the leadership and Faculties of the institution is now on par with these universities in academic works, accreditation and expansion.
He said he took it as an honor to speak at this year’s graduation services for which he was grateful to the administration of the institution
“I want to, first of all, extend thanks and appreciation to the A.M.E. Zion University for affording me the opportunity to serve as Commencement Speaker for the 30th Commencement Convocation of this unique University. I feel greatly honored to be selected among many notable and many distinguished personalities who would have served otherwise. I am grateful for the recognition. Once again, I say thanks for the trust and confidence you all have reposed in me”, he said.
Speaking on the topic “Setting Higher Standards” told the students to bear in mind that the world they were entering as Graduates is not different from the world they have lived in. He said the world can be exciting, sometimes chaotic, and always prone to problems, obstacles, difficulties, disappointments, and hard lucks. However, it is; nevertheless, open to anyone ready to carve his or her own path for either success or failure.
The wealthy Indian businessman told the graduates that in order to succeed, there are two key words to guide them which he identified as RISK AND IMAGINATION, the similar words that guided him to where he is today.
Giving an example of his own life story, he said 35 years ago, he was in India going to Law School at Guru Nanak Dev. University, Amritsar, India where he graduated with a BABC Degree, and was pursuing a second degree in Law at the same University when halfway through the Course for a Law degree, he quitted the University for a business opportunity in Liberia. He said that decision left his family gravely heartbroken, angry and furious, as they wanted him to become a Lawyer. He said his parents were angry because he neglected their chosen career path for him; but being a Lawyer was never his calling, so he took a great risk to quit Law School and pursue his dreams.
“Quite honestly, I am not going to stand here and tell you that taking Risk is fun. Making that move was one of the hardest decisions I had to make since I was leaving behind my privilege as a son of a wealthy middle class Indian family. I was afraid of failures, and too many negative thoughts came to my mind, but as a person, who follows dreams, whether big or small, I needed to pursue activities and take actions to make my dream a reality. I had a dream of becoming a business tycoon and decades later, that dream has now become a reality. However, this realization would not have happened if I had not taken the Risk to abandon my Law Studies to pursue what I love doing the most—business”, he said amid cheers from the crowd.
He said if he had not taken that risk, he would have ended up doing what was not his passion. To become successful, you inevitably have to take risks. He furthered that If you are afraid of taking risk because of the fear of failure, you must take Risk, you must follow your imagination. You cannot take risks just because you want to do so. It must be backed by imagination. In my case, I had an imagination of becoming a business tycoon, and I took the Risk to implement it. He stressed that failure is inevitable and it is impossible to live without failing even if you live cautiously. So do not be afraid of taking risk—once it is backed by the passion of work, it is going to fill a large part of your life.
“The question is why do I talk about the benefits of Risk? It is because Risk takes away fears—as fear blocks you from achieving your dreams. Fear does not give you the courage to direct all energy into finishing the only work that mattered to you. The fear of loss caused you to freeze into a mode of inaction thereby putting your dreams on hold — perpetually”, the business tycoon said.
On the issue of imagination, he said to take risk, you must follow imagination. He said you cannot take risks just because you want to do so. It must be backed by imagination stressing that in his case, he had an imagination of becoming a business tycoon, and he took the Risk to implement such.
“Your intelligence and your education give you unique status and responsibilities. However, it is imagination that will set many of you here apart. Imagination is the greatest gift of mankind, so do not disregard it and behave like many who do not exercise it at all. There are many University graduates like you—smart and intelligent—but they are nowhere in the society because they choose to remain comfortably within their bounds, and not trouble about how it would feel to have been born other than they are”, the former India Consul General in Liberia said.
He said some people strangulate their imaginations and close their minds and hearts from exercising it. They do not realize that in imaginations, we carry all the power to change the world and our lives. He stated that if you are not living your imagination, you are not living. It is up to you to take the step and identify what works best for you and what does not, then adjust accordingly. At the end of the day, as you open your hearts to your imaginations, and work assiduously to implement them, you will succeed. “No one wants to be a failure. However, to be successful, you have to take Risks and follow your imaginations. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, Aliko Dangote and many more successful people, did not close their hearts to their imaginations, they followed it. Instead of being trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking, they follow their dream, and never let the noise of others’ opinions drown out on their own inner voices, hearts, and intuitions”, Mr. Jeety said
In conclusion of his address which was well received by the graduates he said:
“Pay attention to your imagination and find a way to create your journey. Do not fall into the trap of analysis paralysis, because otherwise, you will just be living a life of regret. Your imaginations put you on a journey of exploration and self-discovery: The decisions you make starting today will determine what you become. You will face many challenges, but this is what the “world” is all about.