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I met with a few women this week who are just embarking on the beginnings of their career.  All of these women are incredibly sharp, driven and intellectually curious.  A real pleasure to speak with.   Your 20's is a time to explore opportunities and thoughts in your head. Over time something hopefully reveals itself to you where you find your passions lie or that idea in your head seems to take over your whole being and you realize that is the the path to go down.  As I told one young woman, think of a stove top with a few tea pots simmering and eventually one of them will begin to toot and perhaps that is the direction you begin to take.  It can be overwhelming, frustrating and crazy but thrilling and wonderful at the same time.

Those conversations made me start to think about happiness.  All of that push and pull that goes on inside your brain in your 20's which by the way never goes away is the part of the journey of life.  Yet at the end of the day the most important thing as you wander down that path is to be happy.  Happy in your professional life and most important to be happy in your personal life. 

Life is short, try and spend it doing something that you love, something where you get up every day and are excited about what you do.  I am well aware that I am in a situation that I have several options on how I want to spend my days.  The good news is that I absolutely love what I do. 

I see our children, one who is just beginning to embark on her adult life and two others who are not far behind.  Our oldest, Jessica, is an artist.  She has a creative brain including the fact that she is incredibly curious, competitive, intellectual and driven.  She is choosing a path that makes her happy as she should.  Our other two children will take completely different paths and they have yet to reveal themselves but the one thing that I am positive that they will do is something that makes them happy, makes them tick, makes them get excited about getting up every day and that makes them feel good about who they are.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Well said. Happiness is a big enabler because it’s related to motivation.At 20ish, the world is your oyster. You think you can do anything.

  2. Shweta Padmanaban

    I am a twenty-something and I loved this post. You are inspiring!

  3. atg

    How do you balance this advice with a simultaneous desire to ensure monetary stability. While I agree to some extent with those who suggest that you’ll be successful if you do what you love, I also recognize that there are many pple who do what they love to no great avail, at least as far as supporting a life in the city goes.

  4. Brandon Burns

    Amen. The startup community likes to preach its “do something to change the world” mantra but, really, if it doesn’t make you happy you won’t do it well. Unless you’re one of those people who can do anything as long as it makes you money, in which case you’re lucky but definitely not my kind of person.Of course, at 30, and after some false starts, and despite thinking I had it figured out before, I’m just now really understanding what this means for me.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Totally agree. If you only do something to make lots of money with zero passion not my kind of person

  5. takingpitches

    lucky kids, lucky parents