Several years back, I got a call from a current student of ISB.
“I have an offer from McKinsey and Google. I don’t know which one to choose. Can you help?”

I didn’t help. I just asked a question:

“What is the most important thing for you in life, right now?
Something so important, that you are willing to compromise on everything else?”

“Umm – learning. I want to be learning right now in life. Very important!”

“Fair. Is learning so important that you are willing to work in a shitty company with shitty pay and a toxic culture, but you get to learn A LOT?”

“NO! That sounds awful.”

“Then, learning is not the most important thing you want in life right now.
It is ONE of the things you want.
Think again.”

“Okay okay. It is money. I need money.
That’s important!”

“Fair. Is money so important that you are willing to work with a horrible boss, horrible work hours, you learn nothing, but it pays you A LOT?”

“No! That sounds awful.”

“Then, money is not the most important thing you want from life right now.
Think again.”

Here is the thing with us humans…

If we do not know what we truly want in life the most, at that point of time,
The next best thing that we want

We want everything.

A great pay. Great work-life balance. Great office. Great manager. Great colleagues. Great offsites. Great promotions. Great increments. 

So we settle for something that we think offers all of that.
However, the one thing that we truly want from life, is left unattended.

“What is it that you want most from life right now?”

When I have gone into deep discussions with people about this, they have been mostly surprised at their own realisations.

It is ridiculous how many of us have never asked ourselves this question!
Thus, have no idea what it could be.

The best thing you can do is feed your soul with the one thing it craves for the most right now.