Jeff Bezos’s commencement address to the Princeton class of 2010; “We are What We Choose” struck a chord for me. In this, Jeff recounts a story from his childhood, making the point that “Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choice“. Its worth reading or even better, watching on YouTube.
He ends by saying, “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“