Regrets? These Harvard MBAs Have Just A Few 13 Years Later

ON USING THE PORTRAIT PROJECT AS A BLUE PRINT FOR LIFE

“I’m not sure that it’s had a direct effect, and for better or worse I haven’t really referred to it as a blueprint for my years after graduation.” — Anonymous

“I think about the essay a lot – it is both a north star for remembering that I always want to put my family first, but I also wonder if it represented an errant compass as it relates to my career. (On a more superficial note, I still use the portrait itself as my headshot for speaking engagements and my Google profile, so I see that 29-year-old me quite a bit!)” — Anonymous

“Although it has been a long time since I have read my essay, I do view it as a synopsis of how I want to live my life.  From that perspective, it has been a great living reminder to me that I can refer back to when needed.” — Anonymous

“A number of people have stumbled upon it when they Google me, and always ask what I have been doing to meet my goals.  They are often surprised to hear that I still believe in them and through my job and through my work at CEGA, I am still working towards them.” — Anand Radhakrishnan

“It makes me feel more responsible for my actions. Probably nobody has ever read my essay but it is there for everyone to look, and makes me want to be a better person … almost like having a child.” — Sisto Merolla

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IN A 2015 ADDENDUM?

“Well, rather than tell everyone, I really want to tell 2002 me, specifically, that you can’t prioritize family and career equally – if it’s family first then your career choices have to support that, even if it means a less satisfying career. You can’t expect both.” — Anonymous

“Since graduation, I have failed again and again, and I absolutely love my life.” — Anonymous

“The biggest lesson for me is that it is worth the time to reflect on how you want to live your life and what it is that you truly want to accomplish.  It is easy to get caught up in the day to day of life and sitting back and reflecting on one’s motivations and sources of happiness is a worthwhile use of one’s time.” — Anonymous

“My addendum is more a personal reminder to myself than a public statement:  Living a life on the edge is where fear ends and faith begins is not a one time declaration. Like marriage, like forgiveness, like personal drive, it’s a decision we make every day when we wake up.” — Anonymous

“A youthful path can be a helpful guide or a maddening straight jacket.  It is a guide if it helps narrows the infinite choices to the ones you think are right for you today so that you are not overwhelmed by the possibility of a “wrong decision”; it is a straight jacket if you become disappointed at your future reality diverging from your past vision and generating frustration at “wrong outcomes.” — Anonymous

“At the end of the day, very few choices or outcomes are actually wrong.  They are simply different from expectations, and those differences may set you on an even preferable path to the one you had envisioned.”

“Do everything possible to work for yourself. There is no substitute.” — Nick Shurgot

“When I graduated I had dreams of all kind, for every aspect of my life. Some have come true, some have not. My potential now is definitely much lower, my possibilities are fewer, but … l want to keep dreaming, to be open to new chances.” — Sisto Merolla

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