Rick Xu first encountered the highly practical, scientifically-backed field of energy management when he was the China country manager at a multinational company. As an executive for various companies throughout his career, he had attended many workshops on leadership, management and teamwork etc. However, when he joined a training on energy management in Singapore in 2010, it opened his eyes to how diet, exercise, mindset and life mission affects not only your day-to-day life and health, but also your efficiency and even happiness at work.
No other training had ever stuck with him as long as this one. So much so that it sparked a fascination in him about the connection between managing your energy and work efficiency, and about the value of this kind of training to Chinese professionals. He felt an “impulse in his heart” to become an energy management trainer.
However, like most people, leaving something secure and stable to pursue his passion was not so easy for Rick. Even though a key concept of energy management is the importance of positive emotional energy and finding happiness in your career, becoming a freelance trainer took a lot of self-belief and inner strength from him. These are some of his insights into making the leap from a steady corporate job to doing what you love.
Rick remembers how much he struggled with his decision to leave his successful corporate career. In fact, it didn’t happen until two years after the initial idea to become a freelance trainer struck him. He had a comfortable life. To many, it would even seem “ideal”. He had a secure, monthly pay check and great working relationships with his senior management and his own staff. He felt a sense of loyalty to his company, which he planned to stay with until he retired. Throwing all this away consumed him with guilt and pressure. All these factors played on his mind.
Often, however, change doesn’t happen until you realize that things can’t continue as they are. In 2012, Rick reached a crisis point. He was overweight with high blood pressure. His job was making him irritable and negative, and he often brought his bad mood home with him. He constantly struggled with the idea of pursuing what he believed to be of greater value versus staying in his comfort zone. Until finally, one day, his wife told him that he couldn’t go on living the way he was. He needed to pursue what he was truly passionate about doing. The combination of these factors created a tipping point for Rick to leave his corporate life and pursue his interest in energy management.
Find the Deeper Meaning 找寻深层次的意义
“You can’t just say that you don’t like your job. You have to dig deeper and explore what you actually enjoy and find meaning in,” says Rick. “This is how you create a career that will allow you to be both healthy and successful.”
Rick gives an example of a sales executive for a multinational company that sold soap. The sales executive felt little passion in his job. He believed he was getting up every day just to sell more soap, in exchange for a pay check. When he told his boss one day, his boss told him, “No, you’re actually saving lives. Do you know that five million children each year don’t make it to their fifth birthday because of simple hygiene issues? So, every bar of soap you sell can potentially save a life.” When he contemplated this, his entire mindset changed. His job took on a much deeper meaning than simply driving sales and profit.
When looking at his own career and purpose, Rick was convinced by the value of energy management to many Chinese managers and executives who he believed were in desperate need of what he could offer. He knew this information was valuable. This purpose and strong connection to what you do can turn your career into something that can unleash your potential and improve your overall wellbeing.
Identify Your Strengths 找到你的优势
Still, what you love doing may not be what you’re good at. And, what you’re good at may not be what you love doing. “What can bring out the best in you and make you great, that’s what you need to find out to make a career out of your passion,” says Rick. “Having this awareness about what you can be the best at and what you need to work on to achieve this is what will maximize your potential.”
For example, Rick says that his strength as a trainer is his knowledge of the content. His science background means that he’s logical and analytical. He constantly reads scientific research and articles on diet, exercise, health, psychology, neuroscience, evolution biology and behavioral science. He knows the expertise he shares inside out. This will always be his outstanding strength, not being an animated presenter or dynamic facilitator. Knowing what you can become great at is all about self-discovery and a deeper analysis of your strengths.
Overall, Rick’s expertise extends not only to physical energy management, but also to managing your emotions, focus and mindset to be happier at work. Because having positive emotional energy and focused mental energy is one of the best things you can do to increase your efficiency and productivity in your job. Ultimately, his own experience is a great example of how finding meaning in what you do, identifying your true strengths, and leaving what just makes you feel secure but not passionate can allow you to achieve greater success and happiness in your life.