Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, recently gave a graduation address at his alma mater, Princeton University. He made the case that our character is defined not by the gifts we’re born with, but by the choices we make as we move through life.
Each of us is endowed with a unique combination of natural gifts and talents. We are likewise each born with the capacity of choice. The question is, how will you use those gifts? What you have or have not done up until now is unimportant. What matters is what you will do with the rest of your life.
Bezos asked a number of important questions about the life you author:
1. How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
2. Will inertia be your guide or will you follow your passions?
3. Will you follow dogma or will you be original?
4. Will you choose a life of ease or a life of service and adventure?
5. Will you wilt under criticism or will you follow your convictions?
6. Will you bluff it out when you are wrong or will you apologize?
7. Will you guard your heart against rejection or will you act when you fall in love?
8. Will you play it safe or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
9. When it’s tough, will you give up or will you be relentless?
10. Will you be a cynic or will you be a builder?
11. Will you be clever at the expense of others or will you be kind?
Life will present you with countless opportunities to make choices in the days to come. Will you choose life? Will you challenge yourself? Will you magnify the gifts given to you and to others through your choices?
Time will tell, but forewarned is forearmed.
Have an absolutely fantastic week!