“There are reasons to believe that there can be a better world and they all start from you. If you believe there are reasons, you will find these reasons.”

With those words, Ishteyaque Amjad, Vice President Public Affairs & Communication at Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, opened his session at AIESEC Youth Speak Forum in Goa.

“Pressing issues around the globe have a lasting impact on all of us,” he told the students who enthusiastically welcomed him to the event. The issues that adversely impact the environment now can serve as a catalyst to bring all of us together to work for common good and better tomorrow. For us, who will start contributing to the growth of the country in the next few years, it was wonderful to learn from him that challenges do not have to knock us down, in fact, they can be a trigger for us to find solutions.

For our inquisitive minds, there were some invaluable lessons as we prepare for our professional journeys.

“If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything,” he said. To be motivated for a goal that is some distance away, a person must make sure not to fall for distractions on the way, was his message to the packed audience.

“You may own the truth but only yours,” was his other mantra that stayed with the young minds in the audience. He averred that individualistic experiences and perspectives do not make up for universal truth. Everyone is free to have their own truth, but that does not define how others should feel and opine. When one person’s truth begins to be imposed on others, relations between two people can get strained, he told us.

The next mantra “only the insecure mind fears diversity” also caught our attention. Diversity also helps bring about innovation that is not otherwise possible. By being culturally and ideologically diverse, we tend to convene more than enough perspectives and new thinking that fosters creativity.

It may be the last for that day, but perhaps the most important. “Own your failures more than your success,” that we will always remember. Every time you fail in something, use that as opportunity to learn and not as an excuse to shift the blame to someone else. Failure does not mean one has to be ashamed of it but its learning should help us to do better in future.

Then the floor was thrown open for questions and candid responses followed stimulating curiosities. A memorable day for all of us who learned from his experiences of serving the Indian Army, many companies in India and overseas, all of which was distilled in a 30-minute power talk.