There are moments in life which just shape your life from what you want to be to what you eventually become. One such person was a professor whom I had met while travelling in a bus to my tuitions. I can still recollect the conversation vividly.
As a 15 year old, I was reading some mathematical puzzles, when this professor approached me.
Professor: That puzzle is not be solved like that. Let me show you.
Me: ok. Sure
Within the next 2 minutes, he had solved the puzzle I was pondering over for the last 30 minutes.
Me: Sir you from? Are you a teacher?
Professor: Well yes. I was a faculty of Nuclear Physics at an US university, but that is in the past. These days I teach at school for village kids after retirement. Why are you solving these? Preparing for exams?
Me: Yes sir, I am preparing for IIT JEE.
Professor: Nice. Why do you want to be in IIT?
Me: It is because most IITians get the best offers and end up earning a lot.
Professor: So it is money that you want?
Me: Slient for few seconds, … also IITs have the best faculties.
Professor: Well, money is one thing you can never have enough of. When I first moved to US to complete my PhD from Pennsylvania , money was what I had in mind. I spent the major part of my life chasing it till one day I realized that it is all about having a purpose. It was then that I realized that money is important, but only till a point. At the end of the day, all of us must give it back to the society.
Me: Yes that’s true.
Professor: Anyways my stop has arrived. All the best for your exams.
I did forget to ask him his name (it’s a pity really considering today as the age of social network). But it was one occasion when a stranger taught me something really valuable in life ; Something that inspires me even today !
As a fifteen year old, it did not make much sense then. But today I look at life in a very different way. If you consider most people preparing or joining B-schools, their normal thinking is let us join the B-school that has best salary. But if everyone starts doing things purely for money, you would never have companies like housing.com emerging out of India.
As MBAs it is our role to transform the society by doing things that can help improve the lives of others: It need not mean giving up a high paying job, it may just mean giving a few hours for the local NGOs.
Do whatever you feel, but never make any decision for money. It will never turn out the way you wanted it to be. Money is not bad , but giving it a purpose is what serves the true meaning of life. There are few like Warren Buffet who still drive their own car, stay in the same house and who can give away their fortune for philanthropic activities. Can you be one?