As we commemorate our experiences from 2014, I’d like to take an opportunity to commemorate the future.
Last night, I had a memorable conversation with my stepdaughter Libby. Like many 18-year-olds, she constantly asks herself what she’ll be doing with her life, overwhelmed with the responsibility of planning her future. I responded, “Find something you’re passionate about, explore it for the next 12 months and don’t think about the rest of your life.”
In my youth, whenever we talked about “future,” we talked obtaining money, success and lavish lifestyles. So when Libby professed a passion for making a difference—caring about the world, doing something that really matters—I was deeply humbled.
Six months ago, I remember telling Libby about my career, how much I loved it but how incredibly challenging it has been to start something new. I’ve made difficult sacrifices, like attending Libby’s graduation and being in Sydney for her 18th birthday (she still has yet to forgive me!). But during that time, she compassionately told me not to ever give up, texting me this note:
“Look around you and look inside you. How many people do you think are settling? I will tell you a hell of a lot of people. People are settling everyday into okay relationships, and okay jobs and okay life. And do you know why? Because okay is comfortable. Okay pays the bills and gives a warm bed at night and allows one to go out with co-workers on a Friday evening to enjoy happy hour. But do you know what okay is not? Okay isn’t thrilling, it isn’t passion, it isn’t the reason you get up every day. It isn’t life changing or unforgettable. Okay is not the reason you go to bed late and wake up early. Okay is not the reason you risk absolutely everything you’ve got just for the smallest chance that something absolutely amazing could happen.”
My resolution is to live by my daughter’s point of view and lead hers by example. An amazing new generation is following our footsteps and it is our responsibility to empower them. It is our responsibility to show them a strong female workforce beyond just “okay”—a workforce that is not only driven by monetary success but one that treasures strong moral and ethical values. These women will change the world—Libby will change the world—and I hope to contribute by creating a thrilling environment that they can build and grow on.
To my beautiful and wise daughter Libby, thank you for your constant inspiration. I love you