Abigail Falik is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, a highly-awarded and incredibly powerful nonprofit organization that is transforming high school graduates into global change agents in the fight against poverty.
What Drives Me | As a kid, I was exposed to poverty and inequality on a global scale. These experiences activated my social justice ‘nerve’; once you know it’s there, you can’t ignore it. Today, I’m driven by the simple fact that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. My life’s work is about leveling the playing field of opportunity to unleash human potential.
My Key Talent | Think – and act – without constraints. Envision bigger. Dream bolder. Imagine what’s possible. My favorite definition of entrepreneurship is “the pursuit of opportunity regardless of the resources under control.” Creating something where nothing yet exists requires a leap of faith. And if we don’t take the leap – however big or small it may feel – how can we expect the world to change?
Characteristics That Have Led To My Success | Passion. Purpose. Resilience.
Principles I Live By | Gratitude. Curiosity. Optimism.
The Meaning Of Life | To use our gifts and opportunities to bring happiness and well-being to others.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Each challenge is a gift in disguise. It’s usually the rough spots – the failures, the disappointments, the heartbreak – that build empathy, character, appreciation….and ultimately become the story-line of our lives.
To Perform At My Peak | I practice yoga and meditation. I start each day clearing my mind, coming back to my body, and setting clear intentions for my day. A wise teacher once shared that every morning he does “at least 1 minute of yoga, and 1 minute of meditation”. The trick to this technique is that I can never tell myself I don’t have 2 minutes….and as soon as I roll out the mat or sit on the cushion, 2 minutes becomes much more. I’ve followed this advice every day since I heard it and the practice transforms my days.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Sometimes you have to go slow (at first) to go fast (later).
The Legacy I Want To Leave | My dream is that someday, Global Citizen Year will have played a role in creating a new brand of leader – in the US, and in countries around the world. These new, global citizens will bring passion, perspective and purpose to their leadership, addressing the challenges – and seizing the opportunities – of our global century.