Who is Ben Hasan? Most people probably won’t know who he is. I for sure didn’t until he came to my university to talk about his life and what has helped him succeed.
Ben Hasan was born and raised in North Philadelphia. He went to college at the University of Idaho for 9 months, took a year off and went back to school at Temple University. From there he graduated with a bachelors degree in business administration and computer science. He’s worked for numerous companies including Dell and now Wal-Mart, but rather than delve into his work experience I thought it would be more encouraging to share some of the words he said at my university.
For about 50 minutes, Mr. Hasan talked about his life and his dream to always be great and succeed. He made it a point that there were many people in his life who looked down on him and told him he couldn’t get anywhere. His friends and family were part of those people. He told us over and over again to never stop dreaming and to constantly set goals to make sure you did whatever you could to succeed. Mr. Hasan went on to explain that his journey to success was not easy and one that should not be followed. He took many breaks. He left different firms. And his path wasn’t a typical one. He didn’t just graduate high school, go straight to college, finish in 4 years and start working. Although many people do go that route, Mr. Hasan went a different route.
He also stressed the importance of dreaming and trying your hardest. He explained that much of his success roots from his determination to be great and to always try his best. This has led to many opportunities for Mr. Hasan to grow and take advantage of and I applaud him for that.
What really impacted me though was that he wrote down every dream, every goal and anything he had in his mind on paper. He wrote it all down to look back upon and see what he can do better. He mentioned that every successful person that he has met all shared a similar quality about them and it was that they all dreamed. They all aspired to do big things and make them happen. Furthermore, Mr. Hasan shared how it’s okay to have multiple dreams and cancel them out and go back to the drawing board. He explained that people need to be more broad-minded and think about the bigger picture instead of narrowing things down and keeping things to “regular”.
That led to another important statement about working or studying abroad. While America is an awesome place to work, live and study, Mr. Hasan made it clear that living in a foreign country and learning about its culture has been rewarding and has allowed him to gain so much. He share that there’s something about being outside your comfort zone that opens you up and changes your perspective on the world.
I know what I shared may not be as inspiring to you because I am writing this based on what I heard, but the man is truly an inspiration for me. He has once again proved the point that hard work comes a long way, but with a slight twist. For the first time, I heard a speaker say to never stop dreaming and to always make strives to do your best and get respected the same way. I will forever remember this man and respect everything he has done.
Today, Ben Hasan is the Chief Culture, Diveristy and Inclusion Officer at Wal-Mart and has been making moves to improve worker diversity and social injustices that have been happening in America.