“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I love my scars. Full disclosure, I have had stitches in my head seven times.
Failure has been my greatest professor. The first times I landed a backflip on a bicycle, scored a touchdown, or descended from my grandmother's rooftop into her backyard pool were all preceded by a series of not-quite-good-enough attempts. Invaluable were the lessons taught by my miscues.
What motivated me as a kid was simple—the joy of reaching for a far-fetched, albeit often misunderstood, goal I set out for.
In today's internet-driven world it is easy to get a glimpse into the lives of others. Smiling pictures glamorize everyday life, depict the idea that more is better, and often masquerade success as happiness; driving my generation to measure ourselves not by our own standards, but by the accomplishments and experiences of others. When graded on this curve, success can easily become failure—setting the stage for action to be paralyzed by fear.
I am resolved to take long shots, and I hope to inspire others to do the same. I will spend my career developing real estate projects in markets where the built environment—encompassing homes, schools, hospitals, towns, cities, and the like—restricts the range of human activity. Markets primed for growth but traditionally deemed too precarious to justify investment—think Medellin, Colombia or Accra, Ghana. Markets where risk is inextricably tied to reward, disaster often underpins triumph, and societal progress is the ultimate result of success.
And when I fail, you won't catch me hanging my head in disappointment. I will recklessly abandon the inhibitions born of catastrophe and take another improbable leap toward victory.
— Cameron Johnson
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
More Portrait Project
Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163