Cog In The Wheel

         Several weeks ago, I was at a dinner with friends of friends celebrating a birthday dinner.  It was one of those times where you knew few people, and did the pleasantries of finding out about each other’s careers, current stance in life, and goals.  The topic drifted to the realm of entrepreneurship.  My brother is a successful entrepreneur and was at the table with me, but was not part of this particular conversation.  The person sitting next to me shared his previous life in the theater world, and I believe became a little disenfranchised.  He wanted a simple life of stability.  “I want to just be a cog in the wheel.”  

         For some reason this statement activated me.  Why would anyone want to be a “cog in the wheel?”  Although I personally do not view myself as an entrepreneur, I do value autonomy, creativity, passion, and excitement.  A life where I simply complied to what others expected or solely supporting businesses in their dreams, seems infuriating.  I chose to keep my thoughts to myself as these individuals were basically strangers.  I was only meeting them for the evening and had no plans to see them again.  His words ruminated in my mind: “a cog in the wheel.”  I mentioned this to my mentor the following week, and he nodded noting my dismay.  He later said, “that person played his role well in your life that night.”  

         I am aware that not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur or free thinker.  How would our world run if this was the case?  Me and this man had a completely different set of values: his primary being stability and mine being authenticity.  We all do not have the same primary values, but it is quite interesting to have a conversation with someone whose values completely conflict with yours.  When was the most recent conversation where this took place for you? 

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