Joshua Reeves: Clarity of Mission | Summary and Q&A

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February 27, 2015
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Stanford eCorner
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Joshua Reeves: Clarity of Mission

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Summary

In this video, the speaker emphasizes the importance of introspection and taking the time to reflect on one's goals and passions. He shares his own experience of going through a period of introspection and explains how it led him to identify the types of missions he cared about. These missions include businesses that help people make a living doing what they love, businesses that empower individuals to pursue their dreams, and products or solutions that bring significant time and cost savings to the world.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is introspection important?

Introspection is important because it allows us to understand ourselves better, evaluate what has worked and what hasn't, and determine what brings us fulfillment and happiness. Without introspection, we might go through life without ever taking a step back to assess whether we truly enjoy what we are doing. This can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness even if we are seen as professionally successful.

Q: How can we incorporate introspection into our lives?

One approach to incorporating introspection into our lives is by setting up our own quarter or semester system, similar to what is experienced in school. We can choose a cycle that suits us, whether it be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and use that time to reflect on our experiences, evaluate our progress, and determine if any changes or adjustments need to be made. It is important to dedicate this time intentionally and consistently to ensure that we are continuously aligning our actions with our values and aspirations.

Q: How did the speaker's introspection impact his career decisions?

Through introspection, the speaker realized that what was missing in his previous startup was a sense of mission. He reflected on his experience starting a nonprofit in college and realized that it didn't feel like work because it was something he believed in and cared about deeply. He used this realization to guide his career decisions and identified three types of missions he wanted to pursue: businesses that help people make a living doing something they love, businesses that empower individuals to do what they have always wanted to do, and products or solutions that bring significant time and cost savings to the world.

Q: Why does the speaker value businesses that help people make a living doing something they love?

The speaker values businesses that help people make a living doing something they love because he believes in the power of following one's passions and finding fulfillment in work. He recognizes the importance of supporting individuals who want to turn their passions into viable careers, providing them with the financial means to thrive in a capitalistic society. By enabling others to pursue what they love, these businesses contribute to the overall well-being and happiness of individuals.

Q: How does the speaker define empowerment in relation to businesses?

According to the speaker, empowerment in the context of businesses refers to the ability of individuals to do something they have always wanted to do, with technology playing a significant role. He highlights the transformative power of technology in simplifying tasks that previously required extensive resources or manpower. For instance, the advent of drones has revolutionized photography and videography, allowing individuals to explore new creative possibilities without the need for expensive equipment or large teams. Empowering individuals through technology opens doors to new opportunities and unleashes their potential.

Q: Why does the speaker prioritize tackling inefficiency with product solutions?

The speaker is bothered by inefficiency and sees great value in products or solutions that bring substantial time and cost savings to the world. He recognizes that inefficiencies can hinder progress and waste valuable resources. By addressing and eliminating inefficiencies, these product solutions contribute to productivity, enable individuals and businesses to operate more effectively, and ultimately lead to overall improvement in various aspects of life.

Takeaways

Introspection is a vital practice that can guide us towards a more fulfilling and purposeful life. By taking the time to reflect and assess our goals, passions, and values, we can make informed decisions about our careers and pursuits. Creating our own system of evaluation and introspection, regardless of the academic structure we may have left behind, enables us to continually align our actions with what truly matters to us. The speaker's personal missions of supporting individuals in doing what they love, empowering others to pursue their dreams, and addressing inefficiencies serve as inspiration for finding our own purpose and making a meaningful impact in the world.

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