GLOSS Issue 20 FEB 2015 - Page 74

When is the right time? The other day, I was speaking to two dozen interns at a famous investment bank. These kids were at the top of the heap. Famous colleges, involved parents, the right network. Here they were at a huge conference table, perhaps 25 feet long, in their blue suits and white shirts, the very center of the privileged universe. By just about every measure, these twenty-year-old students have more options than most. Career options, family options, geography options - choice is everywhere. I spent about half an hour talking to them about broken escalators and their freedom, and how they could choose to do their very best work, to become more than a cog in a (profitable) machine. Hannah raised her hand. “But maybe it makes sense to wait. After all, we have student loans to pay off. It doesn’t make sense to take risks now; later, when we’re better established, then we can find our own path.” Here’s the thing: It’s never the right time. When you are starting a family, it’s not the right time. When your kids are about to go to college, it’s not the right time. When there’s an elderly parent depending on you... We have a thousand perfect reasons to give up our freedom in exchange for the illusion of safety. All of them are based on a misunderstanding of fear vs. freedom. This is the chance of a lifetime, our lifetime. Not someone else, us. Not later. Now.