Great advice for our youth

I read this in the WSJ this past weekend and wanted to share. My oldest son will be turning 18 this week and graduating high school next month; and he has the whole world ahead of him. Some good questions to ask himself as he starts his adulthood.

From Jeff Bezos’s (Amazon.com CEO) commencement address at Princeton University on 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 follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventures?

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.

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