Today’s guest blog comes from Student Inventor & Forbes 30 Under 30 Ann Makosinski. She is an acclaimed student inventor interested in alternative energy harvesting techniques and their applications in improving the life of people all over the world. She is best known for her invention; the Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that runs solely off the heat of the human hand and recently won a Google Science Fair Award. She inspires audiences to pursue curiosity, dream big and change the world.
We asked Ann, ‘What motivates you?’:
I get asked this question a lot, so here’s my answer.
There are a lot of factors that go into why I do what I do every day. One of the most important things that my parents taught me was to not waste my time. You can buy many things, but you can’t buy back time. So every day I ask myself, how can I spend my time efficiently and effectively today? If I don’t do something constructive every day, I feel like I have wasted my time and I almost feel guilty for not doing something I could have learned from.
Another thing that motivates me is my own passion and genuine interest in what I do. People close around me tend to comment that I always do what I am most eager and interested in first, which unfortunately leaves a lot of other projects that I never complete or get to. Here I can improve.
I’m likely not as good in the topics that I’m less passionate about than the ones I spend all my time on. It is important for me to remember that time learning anything substantial, even if it’s not my favourite topic, is time well used. For example, I studied physics 12 in summer school after I completed grade 12. Did I enjoy it initially? No, I had found physics difficult since grade 11 and I struggled a lot. Did I learn from it? Yes, and as I improved I started enjoying it more.
Lastly, back when I was becoming the tragic ‘Andini’, I was reading a book about Harry Houdini’s life. Side note — Houdini was my first “obsession” — I had many like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Basil Rathbone, Piotr Beczala, Leslie Howard etc.. On his 12th birthday, Ehrich (original name) swore to his father that he would always take care of his mother Cecelia, whom he loved very much. Later on in 1912, when he was successfully performing shows around the world, he asked for his salary to be paid in gold coins. He then went to his mother and poured the gold coins onto her lap, fulfilling his childhood promise. For some reason, reading that when I was the magical age of 12, I made a promise to myself that one day I would do the same as Houdini. That time may well be 20 years from now (or never), but it pushes me everyday to work on my career and to learn as much as I can.
Where has this motivation has taken Ann? Right next to Jimmy Fallon where she showed off her handy invention the E-Drink: