Andre Agassi wants you to pursue your own path.
Speaking at the Annenberg Center on Tuesday as part of Lauren & Bobby Turner Social Impact Executive Speaker Series, the olympic gold medalist and former top tennis player encouraged Penn students, especially at this moment of their lives, to be open-minded about their paths and chose a feld they are passionate about.
“You will be uncomfortable in your own skin if you don’t find your own reason to wake up every day.” Agassi said.
Surprisingly, Agassi’s reason is not tennis. He played the sport primarily to please his father. It was easy for him to feel a sense of detachment from this career since he wasn’t doing it for himself.
Instead, he dreamed of making the world better off. Agassi started the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, which provides charter schools with access to better facilities, with 1984 Wharton graduate Bobby Turner — who founded this speaker series.
“If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life” Turner said. “Ever since I met Andre, I have never worked.”
Turner also noted that Agassi’s charitable work was successful because he was able to “dream while keeping his eyes wide open” — thinking big but also making his ideas a reality.
Both Turner and Agassi also said that an understanding of the market is necessary in order to cure societal problems.
When asked about his secret for success, Agassi talked about the power of today. In tennis , focusing on the here and now is beneficial since whatever you do during the game has immediate effects. Even though the business world has less immediate feedback, focusing on today can be helpful, Agassi said.
When Agassi was asked about his children, he expressed his pride in his daughter who has shown interest in volunteering for animal shelters. “Your children will learn what you value by how you live.”
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