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← How to find your passion and inner awesomeness | Eugene Hennie | TEDxMMU

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Showing Revision 4 created 11/16/2017 by Peter van de Ven.

  1. OK, so first of all,
  2. I'd like to thank everybody
    that set this event up.
  3. This is pretty cool.
  4. When I was given the invitation to speak,
  5. I kind of didn't know
    what I was going to talk about.
  6. But I came to the realization
  7. that I really don't have
    to make anything up.
  8. I can just give my story,
  9. and hopefully, that'll be inspiring
    to a lot of people here.
  10. So my talk today is going to be on:
  11. how to find your passion
    and inner awesomeness.
  12. A lot of people in university,
    especially if you're students here,
  13. you're in that transition point
  14. where you really don't know
    what you want to do,
  15. and you kind of have
    to make changes and decisions
  16. that are going
    to dictate your entire life.
  17. So it's kind of daunting,
    it's kind of scary.
  18. But before I go into anything,
  19. I want to give you guys a chance
    to get to know me a little bit
  20. and understand a little bit more about me.
  21. I was born and raised in Harlem.
  22. Now, Harlem is in New York City,
  23. and Harlem starts at 110th Street
    and goes all the way to 159th Street.
  24. Now, when I was growing up in Harlem,
  25. there were a couple of things
    that I had to learn quick, right?
  26. I had to learn how to be charismatic.
  27. I had to learn how to speak fast.
  28. I had to learn how
    to be real quick and witty.
  29. But I also learned that it's good
    to have an imagination.
  30. When I was young,
    I had an awesome imagination.
  31. And I'm sure that many of you -
    think about it,
  32. go back, when you were around six,
    seven, even younger than that -
  33. you had a great imagination.
  34. So who used to draw?
    Anybody? Show of hands.
  35. Who used to draw
    when you were younger, right?
  36. These are a couple of things
    I used to draw.
  37. But do you remember when you used to draw
    that a lot of those things sucked, right?
  38. But nobody told you they sucked, like you
    would give your mother the drawing,
  39. and she really didn't know what it was,
    but she would put it on the refrigerator.
  40. Nobody ever told you
    that what you did wasn't good.
  41. Nobody never told you that you were -
  42. that you were not awesome.
  43. So you stuck with it.
  44. OK, so me, I used to draw,
    I used to sketch,
  45. I used to do photo manipulation,
  46. and right there on the bottom left,
    that's actually an animation I did.
  47. I used to spend hours
    creating these elaborate stories,
  48. coming up with characters,
    coming up with plots.
  49. And nobody never told me
    that these things weren't cool.
  50. So I continued to do them.
  51. So I had fun and I took a risk.
  52. So if you look at this right here,
    don't get scared,
  53. but on the left, this is a competition
    that me and my fraternity brothers did.
  54. We used to do performances
    every year for the university.
  55. I went to Florida State University,
  56. and I'm a member of
    Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
  57. So on the left, we're doing Resident Evil.
  58. We did our kind of
    reenactment of Resident Evil,
  59. it was Zombies versus SWAT.
  60. On the right, we did
    Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory,
  61. and we had some sick twisted thing,
  62. and all the auto polluters
  63. were kidnapped by Willy Wonka
    and forced to work in a factory.
  64. But nobody ever told us
    that this wasn't cool.
  65. And it came to our -
  66. people loved the performances we did.
  67. We performed in front
    of thousands of people
  68. and won these competitions.
  69. So I was always told to be a rebel
    and question everything.
  70. So if you guys look at this picture,
  71. this is actually a very
    funny picture to me
  72. because if you see me right there
  73. I'm the only one making
    a really silly face, right?
  74. And if you go to my parent's house,
  75. you actually see that this
    is the first picture you see
  76. when you come into my mother's house.
  77. And what was cool about this picture was,
  78. before we actually took the picture,
    the teacher told me, she said,
  79. "Everybody, when the photographer
    says smile, smile."
  80. So I said, "Teacher,
    why do we have to smile?
  81. Is there a reason we have to
    smile - we're young kids,
  82. why do we have to wear suits?
  83. Why all the guys in suits,
    all the women in dresses?
  84. We don't want to be adults."
  85. She said, "Don't worry
    about it, just smile."
  86. And I said, " OK, if you don't want
    to tell me why I have to smile,
  87. I want to do something funny."
  88. So when the photographer
    said "cheese," said "smile,"
  89. I did that face.
  90. OK, but something happened.
  91. When I grew up,
  92. and I started to get older and older,
  93. I forgot that I was awesome.
  94. I'll get to what this code
    means in a second.
  95. But I was in a Fortune 500
    leadership development program
  96. when I got out of college,
    I was "corporate."
  97. I had a title; I was an account manager;
  98. I was making good money,
    I was making $60,000 out of college,
  99. so I could brag to friends.
  100. My mother was proud;
    my father was proud.
  101. I could go on trips once a year.
  102. But I realized that this
    isn't what I wanted.
  103. Now back to this code: eh976a.
  104. This was the actual code
    that I was identified by in my company.
  105. So when they wanted to email me,
  106. they didn't email me at Eugene Hennie,
  107. they emailed me at eh976a.
  108. When they wanted
    to look up my sales records,
  109. they looked up eh976a.
  110. I started to think why don't you guys
    just call me eh976a.
  111. Because that's how you identify me anyway.
  112. So I realized I was a part of a system,
  113. I was no longer a person,
    I was no longer Eugene.
  114. So this is what society wanted;
  115. they wanted the clean-cut Eugene,
  116. they wanted Eugene that wore suits,
  117. that wore glasses, that wore specs;
  118. I was all proper,
    but this is what I wanted.
  119. I wanted to do flips; I wanted to travel;
    I wanted to hang out with cool people;
  120. I wanted to experience life.
  121. I had to escape life's cubicle.
  122. I was working nine-to-five,
    I was young and I hated it.
  123. I was putting on something
    that I didn't want to carry, every day.
  124. And I will come home
    emotionally drained, spiritually drained
  125. because I was trying
    to please everybody else
  126. instead of pleasing myself.
  127. But then I got an email from an angel,
  128. and she's going to be mad at me,
    be mad at me for doing this.
  129. This was from my girlfriend,
    Jasmine, sitting right there.
  130. You guys give Jasmine a round of applause.
  131. (Applause)
  132. And because of that she sent me an email
    for the world's most awesome job.
  133. So I came home from work,
    I was kind of pissed off,
  134. but she sent me an email.
  135. So I opened the message,
    and I clicked on the email.
  136. It took me to a website,
  137. and the website said,
  138. "Do you want to work in the world's
    most awesome workplace?
  139. Do you want to be the world's
    most awesome people?
  140. Do you want to travel?
  141. Do you want to work on projects you love?"
  142. And I was, like, this is a scam.
  143. That can't be true,
  144. because I make $60,000
    out of college, right?
  145. You're telling me I can make money,
    travel, do cool things, meet cool people,
  146. go to all these cool places
    and still be happy.
  147. That's not true.
  148. So I deleted the email.
  149. What happened next
    was something pretty cool.
  150. A buddy of mine, he worked for a bank.
  151. He sent me an email, he said, "Hey Eugene,
  152. we want to go to South America.
  153. We want to go on a cool trip
    to South America."
  154. And he said, "Hey, do you want to go?"
    I said, "Yeah, man, I'll go."
  155. So I went home, booked the ticket.
  156. Fast forward a couple of weeks,
  157. I'm sitting on a plane, and I am petrified
    when the plane is about to take off;
  158. this is the first time I've ever been
    out of the country by myself.
  159. Every negative thought in the world
    started going through my mind.
  160. What if I go there?
  161. I don't speak Spanish, what if I get lost?
  162. What if they kidnapped me?
    What if the plane doesn't take off?
  163. All these just thoughts
    started going through my mind.
  164. So I sucked it up,
    down on the plane, took off,
  165. and the result was something
    amazing to us, it was beautiful.
  166. I had the best time in my life.
  167. So I saw beautiful cities,
    I hung out with the locals,
  168. we white-water rafted,
    ATVed the volcanoes,
  169. ziplined across jungles,
  170. and we did all this cool stuff.
  171. I look at this picture, like,
    those are me and all my friends,
  172. and you see the lady right there, she has
    a baby, and she's [inaudible] with us;
  173. like that was cool, very awesome.
  174. So what I decided to do
    was I quit - I quit my job.
  175. This's me in the parking lot after I quit.
  176. That's me putting up pictures
    of my actual travel ticket on Instagram.
  177. I was so excited.
  178. I said, my life is about to change
  179. and all these cool things
    are about to happen.
  180. So needless to say
    that when I came to Kuala Lumpur,
  181. I was mind-blown,
  182. because the company
    that I was around was amazing.
  183. Over 30 different nationalities
    were represented
  184. in the company that I worked for.
  185. I had people that loved art;
    people that loved music;
  186. people that loved the design;
    people that loved business.
  187. Everybody was embracing their passion,
  188. and I said, this is cool, this is awesome.
  189. So something happened,
    a side effect happened,
  190. and I started to do awesome things again.
  191. I enjoyed entrepreneurs;
    I enjoyed talking to entrepreneurs.
  192. The guy in this picture right here,
  193. his name is Justin Harrell,
  194. I had a chance to meet him.
  195. He started a company with $50
  196. and eventually sold it for $80 million.
  197. And so now I can see guys like this
    and be inspired by guys like this
  198. every month, when we
    organized these events.
  199. The first time I actually spoke
    since being in Kuala Lumpur
  200. was at an assignment event.
  201. My buddy, ZeiKrew, he is going
    to be talking about that a little later.
  202. They gave me an opportunity to speak,
  203. and that was my first time
    speaking in about three years.
  204. I started a website
    AntiWantrepreneur.com,
  205. and that was pretty cool
    because we created an online community
  206. where entrepreneurs can come
  207. and listen to interviews
    with other entrepreneurs,
  208. download how to guides
    and get all this awesome cool stuff.
  209. Even after that, I started a podcast,
  210. and that was kind of ironic
    because I was this guy from New York,
  211. this guy from Harlem,
    that came to Kuala Lumpur;
  212. and now, I'm doing a podcast.
  213. I never thought that I would do a podcast.
  214. OK, I started traveling.
  215. When I'm in America,
  216. the only time I've been out of the country
    was when I was around 23.
  217. But within six months
    of being here in Kuala Lumpur,
  218. I went to four, five different countries.
  219. So I had to ask myself why?
  220. When I took a chance,
    and I just stepped back,
  221. and I decided to ask myself why.
  222. Why did all these cool things happen?
  223. What decisions did I make?
  224. What principles, what code,
    what commandments?
  225. What was I following
    that made all these things happen?
  226. So the first thing I would ask you guys -
  227. tell you guys to do - is to know yourself.
  228. Who are you?
  229. What are the things that you like,
    the things that you dislike?
  230. What pisses you off? What makes you smile?
  231. A lot of people don't know this.
  232. I'm sure that if you
    were to ask your neighbor,
  233. you know, "Who are you?
    What do you like?"
  234. A lot of people, they have a hard time,
  235. they don't know what it is that they like.
  236. Number two, embrace yourself!
  237. And I love this picture
  238. because if you're a nerd,
    embrace that you're a nerd.
  239. If you're an athlete, embrace it,
  240. because once you embrace it,
    everything in life becomes easier.
  241. It's easy for me to come up here
  242. and speak to you guys
    without getting all shaky
  243. because I've embraced who I am.
  244. I'm a guy from New York
    that came to Malaysia to do great things.
  245. And so, my talking about it
    makes it a little easier
  246. because I've embraced it.
  247. Surround yourself with encouraging people.
  248. I love this photo because this photo
    shows you that the company you keep
  249. is going to kind of dictate
    where you go in life.
  250. This is Barack Obama with Steve Jobs,
    with Mark Zuckerberg,
  251. the CEO of Netflix, the CEO of Twitter,
  252. Yahoo!, Oracle.
  253. Imagine what they're talking about,
    must be talking about cool stuff.
  254. A quote says, "You're the average
    in the five people you keep around you."
  255. So if you surround yourself
    with cool people,
  256. successful people, inspiring people,
  257. you're going to be inspired,
    cool, successful, motivated.
  258. And if you surround yourself
    with people that suck,
  259. that people that always
    want to put their negative energy on you,
  260. you're kind of going down spiral.
  261. Number four: Know what you want.
  262. Now you have to know yourself,
    but you have to know what you want, right?
  263. Some people think
    that they want $1 million,
  264. when in all reality,
    they don't want $1 million,
  265. they want to be able to travel,
    they want to buy their mothers a house,
  266. they want security,
    they want some freedom.
  267. So know what you want.
  268. Number five: Work your ass off.
  269. And this is cool
  270. because if you guys
    don't know Gary Vaynerchuk,
  271. he is kind of like
    the king of social media.
  272. And he started when he
    was really young to sell online,
  273. and his advice, he calls it Hustle 2.0.
  274. If you like something, work hard.
  275. That's all you have to do. Lose sleep.
  276. I have a couple buddies, they are my age,
  277. they're about to be best-selling authors.
  278. I have buddies that have products online
  279. that make thousands of dollars
    because they work their ass off.
  280. They put in the time,
    when everybody else is out partying,
  281. they are in the house,
    they are in the lab working on things.
  282. Now make the impossible the new possible.
  283. Now, what do I mean by this?
  284. To me growing up in Harlem,
  285. it was impossible
    that I would go to college.
  286. But it happened.
  287. It was impossible that I will get a job
    working for Fortune 500 Company
  288. but it happened.
  289. It was impossible that I would
    live in another country
  290. and work with cool people
  291. and start a podcast and meet millionaires.
  292. But it all happened.
  293. It became possible,
  294. so my standard went from here to here.
  295. The question became -
  296. it wasn't how could I do this,
    it was how could I not do this?
  297. So every time I look at a new task,
    on a new goal, and a new obstacle,
  298. I ask myself: Eugene, you're capable.
  299. You've made it this far,
    how could you not do this?
  300. Number seven: Fail hard and fail often.
  301. People don't like to fail.
  302. Think about it guys,
    how many times have you failed?
  303. You had a lot of fails today,
    but you don't remember your fails.
  304. You remember all your successes, right?
  305. So you have to fail.
  306. Think about coders,
  307. I love to use coders as an analogy,
    because coders fail all day.
  308. They're at the computers,
    just coding away, coding away.
  309. And they have bugs, breaks, and code,
  310. but they just try
    to fix it, fix it, fix it.
  311. At the end of ten hours, or however
    long it takes coders to do things,
  312. they have a perfect product,
  313. they have a perfect application,
    because they failed.
  314. If you fail a lot,
    the successes will be greater.
  315. Number eight: Beat on your craft.
  316. Will Smith said before,
  317. he said that he doesn't feel
    he's particularly talented at anything.
  318. He doesn't feel that he
    was like a natural talent.
  319. But he does feel that he has
    an uncanny ability to work hard.
  320. He has a crazy work ethic.
  321. So I like to use the analogy of -
    I like a lot of computer games.
  322. I play Elder Scrolls a lot,
  323. and in Elder Scrolls,
  324. you have to build swords,
  325. but you start with the raw material,
    you start with iron ore;
  326. and you have to make an iron sword.
  327. So think of your talent,
    your God-given ability
  328. as that raw material.
  329. You have to take it and beat on it.
  330. You have to perfect it,
    you have to sharpen it;
  331. you spend hours doing this;
  332. and soon, you'll have a weapon you can
    use to go out and conquer the world.
  333. Number nine: Learn
    to embrace confrontation.
  334. Now, how many of you guys
    want a raise at work?
  335. You guys want something from somebody,
  336. but you're afraid
    to go confront them about it.
  337. A lot of people hate confrontation,
  338. they try to go around it,
    they go the opposite way.
  339. They'll try everything that they can do
    to try to avoid confrontation.
  340. But it's when you meet confrontation
    face-to-face, great things happen.
  341. I had to embrace confrontation
    coming here today.
  342. I thought, what if I slipped on stage,
  343. what if the projector stuff
    didn't work, right?
  344. But when I got here,
  345. I embraced it,
  346. and all that fell off me,
    I kind of left it down there.
  347. So learn to embrace confrontation
  348. because we start taking these risks
    and meet confrontation head on,
  349. great things are going to happen.
  350. And number ten: Do what's right.
  351. I don't believe there's a grey area
    when it comes to doing what's right.
  352. I believe there is a right way
    and a wrong way.
  353. I can go to somebody from another country,
    that doesn't speak my language,
  354. approach him, say something;
  355. whether it be negative,
    I can tell how they takes it,
  356. if I said something right,
    or something wrong.
  357. We all have innate human sixth sense
    to know what's right and what's wrong.
  358. When you do the right things,
    good things happen to you.
  359. So when I started
    this presentation, I wanted to -
  360. I asked you guys a question:
    How do you find your inner awesomeness?
  361. How do you find it?
  362. The answer is: you don't have to find it,
    you always had it;
  363. it's inside you.
  364. But the media, television,
    your friends, your loved ones,
  365. they want to mold you
    to be something that you're not,
  366. when deep down inside you already
    have all the tools that you need.
  367. There was a point in time
    where we wanted to fit in,
  368. remember everybody wanted to fit in,
    wanted to dress alike?
  369. But now we have to come to that transition
    and go to standing out as an individual,
  370. because when we find
    our inner awesomeness,
  371. great things are going to happen.
  372. Thank you.
  373. (Applause)