Que Sera Sera?

Courtesy of College Recruiter

On careers, dreams and aspirations, I think that one's route in life is predicated on a mix of seredipity, sweat and strategy.

Serendipity because much of it is rather accidental and unpredictable. Nicholas Nassim Taleb argues this point very well in "Black Swan" when he wrote about how the unknown unknowns may actually exert a greater influence on everything (including life) than the researched and tested. What comes your way eventually may sometimes be an outcome of luck, chance and opportunity, rather than intelligent design or choice.

Sweat of course is the other predictor of fulfillment, actualisation and success. While one can hope to strike TOTO or try one's luck at "chance oriented" enterprises (like property speculation, shares, funds, and the IR), the truth is that most people who are where they are now just work extremely hard. Having seen how most of you guys go at whatever you are pursuing in life - 24 by 7 - I am confident that we probably don't lack this element here in the modern and hectic world!

Strategy, the final "S", is probably what my previous leadership coach (NHB engaged coaches for senior management about 4 years ago) would have said. I still remembered him asking me what my final career destination would be. I told him that I would like to be a consultant, trainer and a coach - somewhat like him. He then said that I should thus look at how I can embellish my learning and career journey to fit that path, something which I am constantly doing.

In a nutshell, its a concoction between what life throws at you, how you take it by the horns, and how you steer it with your eyes still firmly on the end goal. The journey may take surprising twists and turns - sometimes you end up in the most unexpected places - but so long as you are in the driving seat, you can be sure that the outcome will be sweet.

As a pragmatist who dreams (an oxymoron?), I believe that what one makes of one's life at work or at play should be more a function of influencing one's surroundings and peers as opposed to being influenced. We can all wait for the perfect job, perfect boss, perfect organisation and perfect colleagues. Or we can make that happen.

Labels: , , ,