Kyle sent me a graduation speech given by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, that he gave at Princeton University. Throughout his speech he talks about gifts and choices- gifts are things that comes naturally, they're easy. Choices on the other hand can be difficult. It can be hard to make the right choices, but the reward is worth every bit of the struggle.
Here's a bit of his speech...
"We are What We Choose"
Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Class of 2010
May 30, 2010
Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life -- the life you author from scratch on your own -- begins.
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?
Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.
I sure hope that when I'm 80, and my grandkids and great grandkids are sitting around my rocking chair and I start to tell my story, I hope it is one full of love, sprinkled with adventure, filled with purpose, and grounded in kindness.