A teen wrote to 200 world leaders asking them for life advice and received some thought-provoking responses – but nothing from Boris.
Leo Olsson, 18, asked the most important people in the world: ”If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?” .
He felt he needed to do something productive before beginning an international relations degree in September.
And after reading a book called ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’ by Donald Miller, he said he felt inspired to be “interesting”.
He then started sending letters to world leaders asking for one piece of advice.
Leo wrote physical letters to all the chosen 200 leaders – forking out £200 in postage, sent them on their way.
He’s since received 18 responses from the likes of the Austrian President, Romanian President and even New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – but nothing as yet from the British PM.
The teenager from Jersey in the Channel Islands has now shared some of the responses to inspire others to do the same.
“I turned 18 and I think for a lot of people it’s a stage you receive more responsibility and feel more in control life,” he said.
“For me, I felt I should be doing something more interesting and a bit more remarkable. I was reading this book called ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.’
“They say you should live your life to be a more interesting story.
“And the idea popped in my head to get life advice – it’s just I decided to go for world leaders in order to get that advice.”
Responding to Leo, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said: “The piece of advice I would give is to have confidence.
“Everyone doubts themselves from time to time, some people more than others.
“And sometimes the voice that says you’re not good enough or that you can’t achieve something is the loudest and most overwhelming!
“It might not be possible to get rid of that voice entirely. But what you can do is learn to ignore it.
“Everyone who you respect and admire, who has achieved great things, has had to learn to do that.
“Don’t let that voice stop you from fulfilling your potential!
“Thanks again for writing to me, Leo, and all the best for the future.”
On some of the other advice he’s received, Leo said: “The President of Romania was the bluntest. He said ‘people with small goals achieve small things.’
“That was funny. Then in the process of researching I looked him up and he was a teacher and school inspector in 90s. He shows how far you can go.
“The Austria President also said you shouldn’t underestimate impact one person can have. For me now going through this experience – this has been a poignant piece of advice.
“For every leader that responds you can see where the advice comes from.
“For example, the President of Switzerland – he was for a long time a farmer before politics. So, what’s cool is he still part owns the family estate, and you can buy his wine.
“His advice was to be as open as possible.”
Leo is still waiting on a response from Boris, but admitted he’s probably rather busy.
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