I often remember a profound experience I had with my Japanese teacher, Sayama Sensei in the Japan America Institute of Management Sciences, Hawaii, USA in 1986. Sayama Sensei, taught Japanese management practices, and also was a Kendo teacher; Kendo is a form of Japanese martial arts. After a job interview I had an offer from a company. After getting the offer, I went to Sayama Sensei for advice. I told him the salary package, and asked him if I should accept the offer. He answered that work is not to be done for money alone. Work is a way to improve oneself, to become a better human being. Trading your time for money alone, he said, is selling yourself too cheap. Work is a platform, where one is able to identify what one likes doing and is good at. The whole idea is to hone your self while working money is the incidental thing.
I am in gratitude to Sayama Sensei for sowing the seed that I have nurtured over the years. I have understood over the years that the basics of all kinds of work are the same. Work of any kind is repetitive in nature. It is meant to add value. Work requires action mental or physical it requires skills, and is tiring. While doing any kind of work, one can explore what one likes and is good at.
Working with an alert mind, and a desire to identify what you like doing, and getting better at, you can connect your uniqueness with the appropriate kind of work, and lead an amazing life.
In my case I took the offer with the Japanese Investment Bank. I started in Tokyo in 1987, and worked with them for twelve years. I was involved in three different kinds of work selling, trading, and back office operations. While working, I became aware that what I liked doing the most and was getting better and better at was to help my colleagues and customers to sort out their personal issues. I had become a person who loved counselling and motivating others.
In 1999, I resigned, returned to India and started as a motivational speaker. The past eight years have been great. I do get tired, but I am seldom bored.
The starting point is to love what we do, till we find what we love to do. People who love what they do are the ones who are truly getting the value for their time.