– I do have a lot of, I know, Millennials, and young people asking me, you know, Dan, how do I pick the right career for my life? And I believe that picking the right career is probably one of the most important decisions that you’ll ever make, because when you pick the wrong career, you can waste a lot of time, and years sometimes, if you ever had this experience, you pick a major in school, and then you study that for a few months, maybe even a couple years, you’re like, you know what, actually, I don’t like this subject that much. It’s because my friends told me I should take this, or my mom and dad told me I should take this, but actually, I hated this, I don’t like the subject, I don’t like the school, I don’t like what I’m studying, I don’t think I’m going to have a career, on this particular path, and then you switch.
And they try something else, and you’re like, no that’s not quite what it is yet, and they switch again, in between you’re wasting a lot of valuable time. So, when it comes to picking a career, let me share with you my own experience. Now, I wish I could tell you that, this is, I got here, because this is exactly how I envisioned myself and what I’m going to do. It’s not like that at all, because in the very beginning, all I wanted to do was to provide for my mom, because when my dad when my dad went bankrupt, with over a million dollars in debt, he could no longer send us money.
He was in Hong Kong back then, so I’m the only child in my family, I had to take care of my mom, so, all I wanted to do, forget about career, forget about finding my path, I just wanted to make some money, so that I can eat, so that we can have food on the table, that was it. So, fast forward today, I have to say I have the greatest job in the world.
I get to work when I want, where I want, with whom I want. Having such a great life style, being able to, not just materialistic things, but everything that I have, right. That I’m able to impact so many people’s lives, as a global educator. Now back then, it didn’t start off like this, so I believe to find the right career, number one, the very first piece of advice I want to give you is, if you’re a young person, and you are not so sure what is the perfect career for you, it means that you have not tried enough things. Because it’s like sports, how do you know what sports you would excel in, if you haven’t played enough? So let’s say you’ve only played basketball your whole life. You’re like, you know what? Maybe I’m a pretty good basketball player, but maybe you’re only five foot five. And you thought, you know what? This is what I like to do, maybe this is my career.
Well, maybe you haven’t tried other things. Have you tried swimming? Have you tried football? Have you tried soccer? Have you tried ping pong? Have you tried other sports? When you try enough things, it is a elimination process, very quickly you would know, you know what, that’s not my thing. For example, I’m a horrible painter, right? I am not a good artist, that’s not my thing, right, I’m horrible with that. I would not have a career in that. In spite, other people might love it, but I can’t even draw like a stick person well, right, my handwriting is not good. So that is not my career, eliminate it very, very quickly, okay, and then for athlete, or sports, and a lot of these different things, that’s not my thing either, so I’m not going to have a career in those professions, so I eliminate that.
So when I was young, my dad actually wanted me to be a lawyer, when I was very young. And I thought, yeah lawyer is my thing, I’m gonna be a lawyer, right, and after I learned a little bit more about it, no, I’m not going to be a lawyer, right. I learned that that’s not my path, it’s the path that my dad wanted for me. Then later on, actually, I wanted to be a firefighter, I still, nowadays, I love firefighting movies, I have an uncle of mine who is a very, very good firefighter, he’s been firefighting his whole life, I always would like to talk with him, and he shared all these stories with me, these just like life altering and life changing stories, and so my uncle was a firefighter, but then I found out that’s not my thing either. And then, once I learned martial art, I though, I am going to be a martial art instructor, that is my calling, I want to open up a little school, and that is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, because I like to teach, and the problem is, that when I found out that my instructor, my martial art instructor actually couldn’t even make rent, he was struggling with just a few students, I’m like, I love martial arts, but I cannot make a living doing this.
I cannot help my mom doing this. So that doesn’t work either. And I tried many, many different things, I stumbled upon business, I started being a copywriter, and consultant and speaker, and a lot of these different things, and not in a million years could I imagine I would be doing what I’m doing today. It’s only after so many of this zigzag, zigzag and I found my place. You see, in life it’s very important for you to find your place. To find a place, where this is where you belong, this is what you were meant to do.
I believe, and not everyone agrees with me on this, that I believe your career, if your career, you just focus on, I want to do what I love, you will struggle financially. You have to get the money thing out of the way first, so you can have more choice, so you can take that money and invest in yourself. You have to make some money first. And that’s what I did, I wasn’t just, I wasn’t following my passion, I just wanted to make a living. So first, profit. Your career, if your career can make you profit. A decent amount of profit, you have to start with that. You see, in the Asian culture, even in Chinese culture, Chinese doesn’t talk a lot about passion, they work long hours, if you’ve ever been to Asia, they work and they want to make money. In North America, it’s some think the opposite. When I came to Canada, it’s much more, laid back, and say, I want to find my calling, I want to find what’s my gift.
It’s okay I’m struggling financially, I want to find my thing. In Asia it’s like, what the fuck are you talking about. You talk to Asian people, they’re like, you do whatever makes you the most amount of money, like duh. Nothing right or wrong about between both philosophies, but I found that at first, focus on profit. Find something that can make you money. So you get money out of the way so you can focus on what’s important, and that’s life, you get your time back. Then once you’re making good money, if you can also find something that you’re passionate about, that would be good. If you can combine profit, with passion. And if there’s something that you’re passionate about, for example, when I found out that I love teaching, I love speaking, great, I’m passionate about it. I learn, I study, I master the craft, and I get better, and I make more with that. And people pay me more, more, more money doing that. I thought to myself, this is great, I don’t like golfing, I don’t like fishing, that doesn’t interest me, but teaching, I love this. This is my hobby, this is my passion, this is what I love to do, it doesn’t get old.
This is how I can be on stage for days, and I can talk without a script because of that. It’s my passion. So when I can combine passion and profit, guess what, you make more profit, cause you love what you do. And if you love what you do, of course, you get good at what you do, then at the very end, when I hit 30 years old, I found my purpose.
I found that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. When I know what I do impacts people’s lives. When my father passed away, and I thought to myself, what’s my legacy, what do I want to be known for. Do I want to be known for as, I can imagine it in my funeral, at my funeral, I’m lying down there in my casket.
Do I want people to say, you know what? Dan Lok has made a few dollars. He’s successful financially, he’s a wealthy guy, or do I want people to say, you know what? That man changed my life. And I say, I want people to say, that man changed my life. And I found my purpose, and that’s why I do what I do today. I can combine my purpose, with my passion, and also makes a lot of profit, all into one.
When you can do all that, that’s very, very special. And I’m very, very grateful, I have found my ideal career. Now, my career may not be your career, but start with profit, then maybe through that, you’ll find your passion, then when you know to a point, this passion may become your purpose. That thing you, if you ever get to that, you are very, very lucky person. I am a very, very lucky person. When I can live every day living my purpose, following my passion, and also making a lot of profit, life doesn’t get better than that. So that’s my recommendation, that’s what you need to do. No one can tell you, I cannot tell you, no one can tell you, you’ve got to find your own path. But, that’s my recommendation, that’s how you decide on your career. .
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