Yes, as your perception of life grows, you will also find out that “All” is impermanence due to ignorance, based on greed and hatred, according to the Buddha teachings….
But, while sitting on the shores of Vung Tau Front Beach on that day of Nov 2012, my mind was not ready to accept that eternal truth, and I am sure that many will not succumb to the temptations of trying more to “achieve” their goals in life. Well, after all, without motivation and the interest of rewards, what is the purpose of our life?
While my understanding of Karma theories and dependent orgination is different from the classical motivation theories in business management, my favorite author is Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of needs – among other works, which I am quoting below for your further research in case of interest.
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
- Alderfer’s ERG theory: existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs.
- McClelland’s theory on need for achievement, affiliation and power.
- Herzberg’s two factor theory.
- Skinner’s reinforcement theory.
- Vroom’s expectancy theory.
- Adams’ equity theory.
- Locke’s goal-setting theory.
Back to my story, as I was saying, our perspectives on Life change depending of our needs hierarchy (Maslow), and our reactions to circumstances depend on our needs of the moment.
Vung Tau has been my favourite weekend escapade as it is only 2 hours away from Saigon (or Ho chiminh City). It was my first working town out of my hometown Dalat, after my graduation as an interpreter at age 22. In the early 1980s, getting a job as a multilingual interpreter was a dream of any young graduate, especially when you employer was the biggest employer in the Tourist Branch. But my job was not only an interpreter, I was also tour guide, and PR officer for the Oil Service Company of Vung Tau, serving the expatriate community of oil specialists.
My job perspective was perfect for a young graduate, with possibility of practicing my foreign languages in English, French, German and Russian as an intepreter and tour guide. So my job expectation at that time was simply to enjoy my good life, dine and dance with my tourists, pick up flowers and watching birds and butterflies with some scientists, practicing all my languagues, and watching sunset with some tourists, or make the tour of the island to join my colleagues on the Back Beach for a ping-pong party at the end of the day.
Life seemed to be perfect, and I could go on like that for the rest of my life…but I was 22 back then.
When I sat on the same beach, thirty years later, I was not the same person, and certainly not with the same perspectives on life.
By that time, I had done a big tour around the world, lived in many countries in Europe, completed my MBA studies and settled down in Singapore, and run a successful consultancy business. Somehow, business opportunities seemed to focus on investment projects for Vietnam, as I was the only interpreter based in Singapore.
Needless to say, new opportunities brought along new perspectives, and of course new responsibilities. As I progressed with my career as business consultant and tour manager for Singapore-based investors to my country, my perspective on life changed also. So, at some stage, it was natural that the idea of writing a doctoral thesis came along with my new responsibility as a programme director.
Another ten years have passed since then, now, at the threshold of my “new” turning point, it is time to look back and see if all the choices made along my career were meant to be part of my destiny of today.
In my next message, I will share more on the struggle of sticking up to one’s choice, once the decision is taken.
Have a good evening,