Life Coming Full Circle

April 18, 2006  

Did you ever feel forced to abandon your childhood dreams and end the pursuit of what you really wanted? Often circumstances in life derail our desired course; however when it comes to aspirations, we have the ability to navigate a new course to fulfill our dreams. While this new path (and perhaps the outcome) may look different than we had originally expected, it is often better than we had imagined.

I recently had dinner with Doug Busch, the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Intel. This was our first chance to reconnect face to face since our first meeting back in 2003. Those of you who read the book know Doug’s story. It is the perfect example of how a childhood dream manifested itself through the most unlikely of paths. Here’s a condensed version of his life story.

When Doug entered college as a biology major, his ambition was to win the Nobel prize for inventing a new blockbuster drug or for some major contribution to the medical field. After two years of studying biology, he decided to try something different. His experiences led him from picking fruit and working in a poultry processing plant to mechanical engineer and CIO of Intel.

When I first met Doug, he was still in his CIO role. Since then, he has changed positions and is now the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Intel’s Digital Health Group. Over dinner, Doug reflected on how his life has come full circle. When he was younger he wanted to make a contribution to the medical field. In his latest role, he is able to do this, possibly with even greater impact than had he stayed with his original goal of winning a Nobel prize. He now works for one of the most powerful companies in the world. By leveraging their power, he is able to make significant contributions to the medical field.

Sometimes we abandon our childhood dreams not because of a lack of interest, but rather unfortunate circumstances. One woman I met always wanted to be a TV talk show host. A college professor squelched that idea when he told her she had no talent. Instead she went on the path to become a writer and editor. Recently she started to do volunteer work for a local charitable organization. And in this role, she is frequently on television, rekindling her old passion and taking her back full circle.

What did you want to do as a child? Is there a way of going full circle back to that dream – even though it may look quite different than you originally imagined?

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