Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Perspective of a Wise Man

Yesterday night I happened to meet an old friend here in Singapore. I remember that we have not met for more than four years. He was happy, relaxed and in three weeks he will reach an important mile stone: turning to 50. A big party was planned in Phuket, Thailand with more than 30 people from different continents of the world.

The last time I met him he was at a critical point to decide the next career steps. There were two options to choice:

1) To go to a small size company with higher and more challenging responsibilities. The risk factor would also be bigger.

2) To go to a bigger company with smaller responsibilities and doing similar job as before. The risk factor would be smaller.

He talked about those two real options in full details and said: “I did not make up my mind clear yet, but I still have two weeks time to think about it.”

Then he stopped talking. I realized that he actually asked my options without directly asking. He was very successful and determined. Probably he was too proud to ask. At that moment I knew how to give him advice without hurting his feelings.

I said: “My friend, let me ask you a question. Suppose you are now at age 60 and you are very successful in every aspects of your life.” His eyes radiated and I got his attention. “When you look back, how would you (old and wise) judge the decision of the young man at his life transforming moment? For which decision he would feel more proud, more satisfied and happier?”

My friend smiled and I knew that he made a decision in his mind.

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