I was chatting with a friend about universities and this came to mind.

On the last lesson of my LTB module, my prof invited a guest speaker to speak and share with us about his life. He’s a CFO of an investment company and a good friend of my prof. He shared with us 3 pieces of advice.

The first thing he told us is to never listen to advice that people give you, including his. Listen to yourself. Don’t be obliged to follow what they say as they are not obliged to live your life with the decisions that was made according to their advice. His rational is that you will live your life with the decisions that you’ve made, no one else can or would. If you were to take any advice, take responsibility for the outcome.

His second advice was to know what you want in life. Your so-called purpose. It must be something that you want and not given to you. Once you’ve found it, work tirelessly towards it. He took 10 years to find his. He hoped that we would take less time than he did. “Know what you want and not what others want of you”, he repeated.

Someone in class asked, “how would you know if you’ve found what you want in life?”

He replied saying that you’d have found it when you’re happy all the time, especially at work. To preface that, he told us his philosophy when working for people: when unhappy, just resign. He would wake up every morning and look into the mirror and ask himself a simple question, “am I happy with what I’m doing?” If not, resign straight away. In fact, to drive home his conviction, the first thing he did at any new job was to draft a resignation letter and keep it in the drafts folder. That way, you’ll not be hindered from resigning and be too comfortable and forgo your greater potential.

His third advice was for us all to have a Unique Selling Point (USP). What makes you different from the man on street, or the person sitting next to you. Why should a company hire you instead of the person sitting next to you? It’s something that we all should work on, or think about. Summarise it into 30 seconds.

His final challenge was for us to email him our goals in life and he’d award the best with a free ticket to one of his investment seminars.

He then concluded by saying, “knowing what you want in life is greater than any 1st-class honours you can get”. Knowing what you want is in itself a 1st-class honours in life.

P.S. Randy Murray has something to say about life too.