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Nissan exec tells those she mentors ‘don’t decide now’ – here’s what she means

She says there are many logistics that could easily overwhelm anyone trying to plan so far in advance, especially when the future is so uncertain as it is now.

“You just imagine, ‘How would that work?’ … And ‘Could I manage a family?’ The reality is, it comes together over time,” Rief said. “If we try to make decisions today about things that are so far away, it’s not a good way.”

When approached with these worries, Rief says her response is the same, encouraging those she mentors to focus on the present day.

“I really try to keep people focused on: Are you happy in what you’re doing today?” Are you living the life you want today?”

She adds, “you’re not the person you’ll be in 10 years. If you try to make decisions for the person you’ll be, even three years from now, you’re not gonna make the right decision. Live more in the moment.”

Rief isn’t alone in her thinking – Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has given similar advice.

“I tell people, don’t over-plan your life,” Khosrowshahi said at the Economic Club in New York in December 2019. “I see people, young people, make wrong decisions all the time because they have a picture in terms of where their career’s gonna be.”

Khosrowshahi says having an unwavering plan for the future is a mistake.

“I see people make mistakes all the time because they’re over-planning,” he said. “And when you over-plan in an increasingly volatile world, you stop looking for opportunities.

“I was not looking for this Uber opportunity, and I’m so glad that it came to me, and I’m so glad that I was open to it.”

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