Growing up my father often said the greatest thinkers don't just think about the next 5 or 10 years. "The greatest thinkers", he often told me, "look 50, 100, or 200 years into the future. They think long-term about the health of society."
He continued on to tell me that the greatest thinkers, philosophers, saints, and sages lived their lives thinking about the progress of humanity, of the lives and state of the world that their children's children will one day have to live in.
My father's words have continued to stay with me as I embarked on this journey of founding The Thinkers, LLC.
My real journey began in 2015 when I stepped away from lucrative job offers and a social enterprise I had founded just prior to my freshman year of college. I was a recent graduate from university and knew I needed to leave the United States to discover the life I knew I was meant to live. I backpacked through Southeast Asia for 6 months and went back to my ancestral roots in India to discover answers to many of the questions I had spent my entire life asking.
I left the United States for a total of three years where I found myself amongst the most inspirational communities and people who embodied and honored their highest values and desires in life. I traveled around the world and challenged myself mentally and physically. I walked 1,000 kilometers across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, motorbiked through Vietnam for 2 months, worked in slums and rural Nepal, and lived on and off in the Gandhi Ashram.
All this time, I also consulted part-time for mission driven start-ups. Through the process of travel and work, I learned how to design a life where I was able to stay true to myself and my values. I learned that there is a way to build a life of courage and one that allows me to use my unique gifts and strengths to serve the world in a way that feels right for me.
Upon returning to the United States, I began speaking to students about living a life of courage, stepping into their authentic selves, and designing a life they feel called to live post-college. I began sharing the lessons I learned in those years away that I felt a lifetime of formal education did not teach me.
It was in those 2 hours of speaking I realized the students had a hunger to learn more. And so, it was from this that The Thinkers was born. As a company, our vision is to nurture and support our next generation of thinkers and visionaries.
It is only from those who have the courage to be audacious in spirit and lead radical lives will we see significant transformation in humanity and our world moving forward.
Together, we are creating a foundation for our next generation to thrive. As the African Proverb says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".
Rina G. Patel