A Plan or An Alibi

Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal, delivered a commencement day speech at Hamilton College this past week. I don’t know too much about Thiel’s personal and/or career history, but I did find the following quite interesting. How many of us are living a plan for something that we are genuinely convinced is a cause(s) or value(s) worth pouring our lives, energy, time, and passion into?

Looking back at my ambition to become a lawyer, it looks less like a plan for the future and more like an alibi for the present. It was a way to explain to anyone who would ask — to my parents, to my peers, and most of all to myself — that there was no need to worry. I was perfectly on track. But it turned out in retrospect that my biggest problem was taking the track without thinking really hard about where it was going.

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