I met him at Thunderbird School of Global Management while visiting a good buddy. This was some 20+ years ago.
He (T2ndMIMW) was giving a speech to the grad students. Not sure how I ended up in that room, but found myself listening to this guy talk about purpose and mission.
He said you need to find what works for you, but will share what works for him and went on to explain how he has a 30 year plan:
For the first 10 years, from age 20 to 30, you shouldn't think about money and prestige. Too many people chase the sexy business titles and the big pay too soon. It's better - he said - to sweat and do the grunt work. Fail, learn, repeat. Don't worry about "success." Just do. Start at the beginning. Gain experience.
For the next 10 years, from age 30 to 40, that's the time to produce and earn money. You're not a kid anymore. Be the professional. Commit to creating real and lasting value. It's your time for "success."
And then the final 10 years, from age 40 to 50, you should focus on giving back to all the places that helped you get where you are today. It's a time for community service, mentoring, and dedicating yourself to something bigger than you.
When he was done, someone in the audience asked, "Then what? What happens after that?"
"You start over. Another 30 years." The room was quiet. And the speech was over.
Now, a good speaker is always surrounded by a mini crowd of people after a good speech. His was great.
I made my way to the front and thanked him for the inspiration.
And with a smile he said just one thing, "If you can receive the signals, you can send them."