HOW DO YOU LEAD A MEANINGFUL LIFE?
I always thought the world was strange.
When I was a young child, I would often ask my parents questions about the world. Unfortunately for my parents, I chose to ask questions that had no easy answers – Why was there so much inequality? Why was there so much environmental destruction? Why did most people seem unconcerned about social issues that were right in front of them?
Yes, my poor parents. I feel sorry for them too!
They certainly did their best to answer, but the questions continued to stay on my mind, even as I entered young adulthood.
Like many University students, I joined a large professional services firm after graduating. Commercially it was a good role, but I was left feeling like there was more I could do with my skills. I came close to ignoring the feelings and questions on my mind, but I decided to explore them one last time.
On a whim, I volunteered as a pro-bono consultant with a not-for-profit called the Global Consulting Group (GCG). I was only planning to do it for a few weeks, but I’m still part of the organisation after 4 years.
By working closely with experienced business people and young students at GCG, I’ve learnt so much about myself, the world and human nature. I’ve made lifelong friends with some talented and kindhearted people, and developed so much as a person. I’ve married building a professional career with making a social impact. Because of this, I’ve decided to make a difference at an early age and throughout my career, not just at the tail end of it.
Life is short so you may as well dedicate yourself to working on meaningful problems. Everyone has a different definition of a “meaningful problem” – and the point is not to arrive at a universal definition. The point is to come to a definition that means something to you, and then to find a way to use your talents to make the most impact.
If you’re not feeling fulfilled with what you do, perhaps now is the time to ask yourself – How do you go about having a career that makes you happy? How do you lead a meaningful life?
Don’t be afraid of the difficult questions you may ask yourself (or the ones you used to ask your parents). They may just lead you to where you should be.