Ice Cream, Chocolate? Choose

Published on 14 Oct 2015 . 4 min read

Let’s go back in time and for a moment. Imagine you as the 5 year old child being asked to make a choice, Ice Cream or Chocolate? Choose. What was your answer?

In my case, the answer was simple, I said “both”. And probably that must have been you answer as well, not settling for anything lesser with no logic, no reasons, being completely unreasonable and making sure you get both.  Quite early on you and I knew that life is much more than making just 1 choice, we somehow knew that life is much broader it’s not 1, not 2 but life offers many choices and we had the ability to get it all.

But somehow as time went by; we agreed and settled in to make just 1 choice. The Ice cream or chocolate question changed into many other questions that came our way at different stages of life. Here are a few questions I was confronted with from a career and a work life balance perspective:

  1. Passion or Money? Choose
  2. Family or Work? Choose
  3. Job or entrepreneurship? Choose

And every time I was asked to choose 1, I wanted “both”.

As I completed my education and started my career, I kept on wondering what it will take for us to change this conversation and make available to ourselves a life with more than 1 choice. Today, I work with youth and women all across the world and support them to activate their passions, discover their true purpose and work with them to create a life with many choices, especially with regards to a job, a career and an enterprise. I believe that if we are connected to our sources (our passion and purpose); a life of unlimited choices opens up.

Let’s me give you some idea of what this actually means. If you are ready to give this a shot, pick up a notebook and try answering some of these questions: First question, What really inspires you? Second, If you had no limitations, who would you like to be?  Third question and here try to do some deep reflection, what is that 1 question that you want to seek an answer to? And the last question, what do you think you are here in this world for? Now these questions might look a little difficult to answer, but it is not. Let me share with you some example from people in my life who are answering these questions:

  1. One of my good friends is inspired by the questions how can we make heaven on earth? And today works for a large consulting organization and empowers his clients; mainly CEO’s to create responsible businesses.
  2. Another friend of mine is inspired by creating sustainable cities in India. To work on this she relocated back to India to pursue her dreams and today is a successful educator on smart cities and value based education.
  3.  My sister and mother are inspired by empowering women through Indian dance and theatre and today run successful non-profit, giving opportunities to women and girls, to perform on stage and express themselves to the world.
  4. My wife after a 12 years break from work, found out that her dream is not a HR job (which she was doing prior), but she always wanted do a course in design and now wanted to create trendy home styling and designs, for everyday living. Today she works with artisans across India, adds styling and designs to their work, does market connect for their products and presents them in various national and international events.
  5. One of my mentors dreams of, making the internet available to the next billion of the world population and today heads the sales and marketing function of a large IT organization

As you look around you, you will find many role models in your life too who are working for their calling, and not doing just a job. Choices become available when you answer your calling.

After 17 of working in a corporate job, I am choosing everything as well: a passion to impact people through entrepreneurship education, a job helping governments and universities in India to come up with incubation and innovation policy and, an enterprise 1M1B- 1 Million for 1 Billion to activate and skill 1 million youth and women to create 1 billion jobs in underserved communities [Proud to share that on October 16, 2015, we will showcasing innovative solution of 9 young entrepreneurs at the United Nation headquarters in New York, in line with fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development  Goals ( SDG's)]

So what are you choosing today? Ice-creams or Chocolates? Or more?

Ice Cream or Chocolate
Manav Subodh
Manav is a Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley, Advisor Director at Ernst and Young (EY) and Cofounder of A Million for A Billion(1M1B), a global initiative to skill 1 million youth and women to create jobs for 1 billion people ( Manav has over 17 years experience in the corporate sector with organisations like Ernst and Young (EY), Intel, Hughes and QAI.

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