A COLLEAGUE once said: "Don't work for a salary, work for a cause." I can't say that there is a right or wrong answer to that question as I can only share my thoughts on it.
I recently attended a workshop that explained factors which motivate us, one's environment, people and most importantly, oneself.
Salary makes up part of the environment and the cause lies with oneself. No job will be satisfactory if we are not internally satisfied.
What is important is for each of us to figure out what the passion is inside of us that will drive us to become the best we can be at work.
What makes us want to jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on the world? What keeps us going when everything around us falls apart? What makes us want to give 110 per cent of our selves, rather than put in minimum effort to pick up a pay cheque? What is your passion?
Once you identify your passion you can begin to figure out what route to pursue.
I have spent more than a decade of my life in an institution of learning and many have asked if I had become a slave of comfort.
I have had my ups and downs, long hours toiling over work, the loss of health, and so on, but I realised my work opened up many avenues.
As a lecturer, I am not restricted to classrooms but have ventured into event management, creative and performing arts, writing and training.
My job is also my education and it never ceases.
Maintaining the equilibrium between work and life, is entirely in my hands.
I agree with Nooreen Preusser when she said: "As easy as it would be to have an ideal work-life balance, the appropriate ratio is very much up to the individual."
Bosses are important, Empowerment is crucial, understanding generations is pertinent and providing opportunities for employees to grow is paramount.
If bosses got along with their workers, these positive interpersonal relationships will fuel work achievement, happiness, and success.
As Nelson Mandela once said: "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Bosses should provide workers autonomy in how to achieve project goals, because there's no point in hiring people with great talent if you don't let them use it. Bosses should support staff in learning from successes and failures, because talent is not a fixed quantity; it can and should grow over time.
Photographer Craig Tanner, in a brilliant essay on "The Myth of Talent", said: "Long-term, focused, practice powered by the energy of passion ... leads to amazing transformations. The bumbling beginner becomes the exalted expert. The trapped and depressed become the liberated and empowered."
Ask yourself: am I liberated and empowered by passion in my work?R. Murali Rajaratenam, Kuala Lumpur New Straits Times Opinion Letters to the Editor 05/01/2014