Why do you do what you do?

I grew up in a working-class town where children grew up, got married, and moved into their childhood homes.

Everyone was happy but didn't much care about the rest of the world. I read every copy of National Geographic I could, and on a school assignment where I wrote about my hopes for the future, my teacher commented that I was "restless" and "not realistic."

My grandmother first noted, "Oh Diane, you're in trouble. You want a big life."

I was the radical for going to college, but I wanted a bigger life: to see the world outside of my town, to push myself, to experience the impossible, and to make a difference. This inspired me.

My first bucket list started in 1975 with ten items. As I accomplished something on it, I replaced it with a new adventure. I still have that list today and have crossed out many big dreams: build a great company, write a book, be on a public company board, conduct an orchestra, and more.

Life is not about creating balance, but about creating more possibilities: to learn more, to love more, to help more, to see what's around the next corner.

— Diane Hessan

Photography by Maria Vasallo