Mar 15, 2012

Why you will fail to have a great career - My 3-cents worth

Have you watched the TEDxUW video starring Larry Smith on the topic of "Why you will fail to have a great career"?

Of course, the main reason why I was drawn to the video was because of the title, and the facebook shares by my friends. When a video is being circulated amongst my facebook friends, it shows that the video is worth watching.

Indeed. It prompted me to share my 3-cents worth as well.

First, let's listen to Larry's theory:

I liked Larry's delivery of the speech. Very animated. Entertaining, especially his punchlines. It would have been great to be taking Economics classes under him! :P

And I totally agree with his assumption of why a person will fail to have a great career, is because he did not pursue his passion. But it is based on the assumption that he knows what is his passion. Passion is not an interest. Like he has said, passion is the one love out of 20 interests. We don't propose to our sweethearts, saying I want to marry you, because you are interesting. (One of my fave out of his several punchlines in the video) What is that one great love?

After identifying the passion, next is the guts. The guts to drop the normality and pursue the outlier life. But of course, not all passions end up as an alternative life. But then, if passion is that easily achieved with the normality of ordinary life, I guess there shouldn't be that many inspirational videos and self-help books in the market.

Because it is radically different. Because it poses great opportunity cost. Or maybe perceived opportunity cost. That is where we hold our horses.

But, on the other hand, with risks, comes the possibility of great rewards. Doing something I am passionate about will probably bring unimaginable amounts of satisfaction in my life.

So, how should we proceed? I am a very practical person. A true blue Virgo-nian, as one might say. With each decision comes a consequence. Rather than hiding behind the "what-ifs" and lament at every bad day at work on why I did not pursue my passion. I would weigh my supposed opportunity costs and potential benefits. Unveil the uncertainties. Often, it's the perceived costs that stop us from taking a step further.

Certainly, I do not wish to one day tell my kid that, "I had a dream, but then you were born." (another of my fave out of his punchlines in the video :P). But I wish to proudly say to my kid, "Go for it! Mummy has done it too."

And I did. I had a very fulfilling year in Japan under the JET programme.
At the very least, I did fulfill a dream.

Make a calculated decision. Once decided, go ahead!

Making small steps in the right direction is definitely better than making big steps in the wrong direction.

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