Sunday, September 26, 2010

Build Yourself A Great Story

Human capacity can never be undermined. God has created in humans the ability to try for the absurd of things and make them possible. History is full of examples. It depends on the WILL to try and follow our passion even in the presence of fear to fail. But more importantly, it depends on our CHOICES. How we utilize our God given abilities and what we choose. Our choices shape us as a human, define our set of characteristics and distinguish us with our strengths.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon talks on the importance of choices at a Baccalaureate address to Princeton University's Class of 2010. An interesting bit of advice he quoted his grandfather giving him, “One day, you will understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever”. He emphasized on the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy - they are given after all. Choices can be hard - they are taken. “In the end, we are our choices”, he concludes.

Excerpt from his speech.

"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 follow dogma, or will you be original?

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?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

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. Thank you and good luck."

Click here for Full Transcript.

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