Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Choosing a Way of Life

Posted by C Moon on January 6, 2008

Recently, I’ve found this finance blog Mind Your Decisions by Presh Talwalkar, and am reading through its archives. Weirdly, the part that first grabbed my attention was not related to financing but the career decision of Mr. Talwalkar’s friend.

His current job had great compensation, good networking opportunities, and a promising career path with salary jumps roughly every five years. It would be hard to find a better paying job. On the other hand, the job was so demanding my friend found little time to exercise or even sleep. Ultimately, he chose to switch to a lower-paying job with a better lifestyle. What matters is not only the money he made, but his satisfaction at the end of the day. He made the right choice because did not only focus on money.

Over the summer, as an AP Literature assignment, I read Dr. Samuel Johnson’s The History of Rasselas, exploring true happiness. Well, maybe that is the reason why I got attracted to the text above. Money definitely “helps” one pursue his dreams, but money at a cost of life or humanity may not be worthwhile. If one has enough money to lead a comfortable and enjoyable life, why should one waste time in trying to earn more? Unless that is one’s ultimate goal, it will not give “happiness” to him. The career decision of Mr. Talwalkar’s friend makes us realize that we should be careful not to confuse the means with the goal.

The text above also makes me think about education. Education is a means to one’s ultimate goal. But, unfortunately, many seem to confuse one with the other. Many people aim to enter prestigious colleges with no consideration for their career goals, or their life dreams. In Korea, one cannot change his major once he declares it when applying to the college. It is not hard to hear about students who initially entered prestigious colleges with pre-declared majors unrelated to their interests, and later re-took Korean SAT again to enter colleges with pre-declared majors of their interests. (In Korea, one has to declare major or college at the time of university application. Oddly, most applicants select their majors and colleges, considering the selection ratio or the chances of being admitted to the “university” of their choice rather than the “major” or “college” of their choice.)

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Photo Credits: “This Way” by hlkljgk on Flickr

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2 Responses to “Choosing a Way of Life”

  1. Hi Catherine! Thanks for the link to my article. I liked your thoughts about education in Korea. It’s having that long-run perspective that makes the difference. Lots of people told my friend to keep at his job since “young people are supposed to work.” But I don’t know any retired person who wished they would have worked more while young. They all wished they would have kept better health (sleep and exercise) and spent more time with friends. So my friend went at it alone. But that’s good, because as you know, fortune favors the bold 🙂

  2. Hi, Presh!
    Sorry for my late reply (I was chased by school work), and thank you for the comment.
    I want to tell you once again that your words have given me the confidence to pursue my way 🙂

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