energy


And I think, for me, the right way to make that kind of very personal decision, because those decisions are personal, they’re not like data-driven business decisions. They are, “What does your heart say?” And for me, the best way to think about it was to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Look, when I’m 80 years old, I want to have minimized the number of regrets that I have.” I don’t want to be 80 years old and in a quiet moment of reflection, thinking back over my life, and cataloguing a bunch of major regrets. And I think that regrets, our biggest regrets, in most cases, you can murder somebody and okay, you’ll regret that, but in most cases our biggest regrets turn out to be acts of omission. It’s paths not taken and they haunt us. We wonder what would have happened. I loved that person and I never told them, and then they married somebody else. I didn’t do this, and so that’s the frame of mind that I put myself in and once I did that, and thought about it that way, it was immediately obvious to me. I knew that when I’m 80, I would never regret trying this thing that I was super excited about and it failing. If it failed, fine. I would be very proud of the fact when I’m 80 that I tried. And I also knew that it would always haunt me if I didn’t try. And so that would be a regret, it would be 100% chance of regret if I didn’t try and basically a 0% chance of regret if I tried and failed. So I think that’s a useful metric for any important life decision.

Usually, it’s about, do you have energy? Is your work depriving you of energy or is your work generating energy for you? You know, there are people, everybody in this room knows people. You fall into these two camps. You’re in a meeting, the person comes into the room. Some people come into the meeting and they add energy into the meeting. Other people come into the meeting, and the whole meeting just deflates. Some people, they drain energy from the meeting. You have to decide which types of people you’re going to be. Are you going to add energy?

Jeff Bezos

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