As you read this I’ll be at JFK Airport waiting to board my flight to San Francisco.
I’ve got a ton of meetings, speaking engagements and socializing to do – much of it pleasurable, some of it merely rote and cursory. I woke up this morning at dawn to finish some last minute packing and to jot down some thoughts. There won’t be anything in here about oil stocks or the relative strength of the tech sector.
I want to address something that I may not talk about enough on this site, the Why.
Why have I chosen such a stressful, demanding career as a Wall Streeter responsible for other people’s money? Why have I then compounded the rigors of my chosen profession with a daily blog and a spate of contribution gigs? And then why, with all of that on my plate, have I agreed to book deals, conferences and TV appearances as well?
It’s not money, at least not in any immediate sense, as most of this stuff pays me in “exposure”, whatever that means. It’s also not out of a desire for attention as I have no problem getting that on my own.
So why? Why do I work and then in my spare time work even more?
I think it’s because I want to build something special. Not for me, I have simple tastes; I’m not into cars, fancy watches, country club memberships or any of the douchy stuff most of my friends care about. I don’t begrudge them those things, but I know that all the energy and diligence I expend each day is not geared toward status or material things.
So what, then? Why?
And then I am reminded. I want to build something special for the babies. I want them to have all of the security and opportunity I can get for them. That is the Why. There are other considerations, but I can boil it all down to just that.
Below is my daughter scoring a goal at her very first soccer practice this weekend. She is 5 years old, calls me “Josh” and is so beautiful and clever it makes me dizzy just thinking about the places she’ll go in this world.
And here is my boy (whom you may recognize), turning 2 years old this summer. We call him The Nugget. I don’t know what his personality is like yet, I only know that he needs to eat every 15 minutes and that the most important thing I will ever accomplish in this world is to make him into a man.
They are why I work. They are why I do any and all of it. Now that I am reminded of this I can go off and crash into my appointed tasks, conquer each item on the agenda. There is a focus and a renewed vigor that come from knowing the Why.
Now I’m ready to go.