The answer to “What if?” (In memory of Greg Kannerstein)
[caption id=”attachment_327" align=”alignleft” width=”198" caption=”A mentor and friend that will be dearly missed”]
I spent yesterday at a memorial service for one of the great men I have had the opportunity to call a friend. Greg was the spirit of Haverford College and he was a mentor to me, to most of my friends and to my wife. You can read more about him here.
When I was at Haverford, Greg was the Director of Athletics and I got to know him because I played hoops and my roommate played baseball. However, my fondest memory of Greg has nothing to do with sports. He helped me figure out how to answer the question, “What if…?” and I will never forget it. Spring of my senior year I was trying to decide if working for AND 1 made sense or if I should go to Wall Street. I needed advice so I went to Greg’s office about once a week for a month. Finally, a little frustrated with my inability to decide, Greg said something like, “Look, there are probably 1 million people out there who could have made me happy for the rest of my life. I was lucky enough to meet one and grab the chance to marry her. I am happy. You will not be happy if you worry about what if but you will be happy if when you find something that brings you joy, you grab it.”
I worked at AND 1, traveled all over the world, I married my college girlfriend, we moved to Portland, OR, started a company, killed the company, moved back to Philly, my wife started a company (her second), I got an MBA and took a new job in a new career. Over the 11 years since school I have been happy the whole time except for the times when I have spent more time on “what if?” than on grabbing happiness. No surprise, Greg was right and always will be.
When you know it, you know. Have the strength to follow your instincts and when you are compelled to do something, do it with all your heart. Happiness will follow.
[caption id=”attachment_328" align=”aligncenter” width=”517" caption=”Friends this fall”]