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Follow Federer

Do something because you are passionate about it, not because it pays the bills, and find inspiration from Roger Federer, urges Younger Members London member Jatinder Singh.

Roger Federer

January 2018

Flemming Ornskov, CEO of Shire, a $50bn (£37bn) drugs company, recommends that people looking for career inspiration should follow Roger Federer’s example. He said to UK Business Insider last year that instead of doing something for the money, they should do it because they are passionate about it and cites Roger Federer as an example of loving what he does.

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As Ornskov said: “You know, at 35 - I think he [Roger Federer] started when he was eight or nine - you look at his face, he loves the thing. That means hours of practice a day, on top of the stress of injuries, family commitments, etc. You look at this guy, he likes playing. I don't think he goes out and says, 'well that's another $100,000 on the bank account…

“While you might make a lot of money in some areas, it’s probably not worth it if you don’t like what you’re doing... Don’t go into investment banking because you think you're going to make a lot of money. If you hate investment banking, that’s not good.”

This is a powerful lesson we can apply in our own lives. How often do we focus on financial rewards at the expense of what would really make us happy? Or do something because it pays the bills or because we think we are supposed to by our friends and family or even our peers?

Often this may be because we have forgotten what is most important to us in our lives.

What Ornskov is reminding us of is that doing what we love and what makes us happy first is what gives people the drive to achieve the highest goals in life, which ironically often brings great financial rewards too. The important lesson helps us put the most important things in our lives first and keep us on the road to greater emotional and mental wellbeing.

Jatinder Singh is member of Younger Members London

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