I love the Kim Ng (pronounced ‘Ang’) story. Ng has twice been an assistant general manager, but after 30 years in the game, she will be the first woman to lead a major league front office. Read the NY Times article here.
So what does a story about a woman in baseball have to do with a pre-retiree or retiree? How does Kim Ng’s income compare to my income? Are we not worlds apart? Well, no. There are some parallels we can draw.
I have two quotes from Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. The first one is, “Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome.” We plan for the future by dismissing our past beliefs and searching for our visions of the future.
As we move forward in our retirement, unencumbered by institutional think and peer pressure, remember our second quote: “Let us not, in the pride of our superior knowledge, turn with contempt from the follies of our predecessors. The study of the errors into which great minds have fallen in the pursuit of truth can never be uninstructive. As the man looks back to the days of his childhood and his youth, and recalls to his mind the strange notions and false opinions that swayed his actions at the time, that he may wonder at them; so should society, for its edification, look back to the opinions which governed ages that fled.” So, what are you waiting for? History tells us, be different, follow your dreams. Well, now, you have time, as the clock runs down to make the big play.
Kim Ng is a great reminder for all of us: be disruptive, push forward, fall-down, get up, and see what happens.