Yesterday – in one of those uncontrolled mixed moments of vacation, winding down, browsing, boredom – I did a health check on one of those “how-old-will-you-get-if-you- keep-this-lifestyle” sites.
The answer was 75
The test told me that I could extend this by probably a year or so, if I gave up all the negative stuff in my lifestyle. Only one year ?
75 ! It put me in some strange mood. I really never had a mid-life crisis (my wife will vigorously argument against that :-), but this hit me into a 3/4 life crisis/reflection.
It meant that I had a bit more that 20 years to make the right choices.
And then I discovered by pure luck this wonderful Jeff Bezos speech. Thanks to the tweets of digitalwaveride
Check out this fantastic 2010 Baccalaureate remarks by Jeff Bezos. The whole story is moving, but the last part should be a mantra for every human being that has the luxury to have choice.
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!
With that as a background, I reflect back on some great conversations I had recently with some GEN-Y people, who can spent their whole day in studying human behavior and values like strengths based society, collaborative innovation models, and other cool and exciting stuff.
How much would I like to go back to high school and study. Just study for the pleasure of the mind.
Or shall I finally start writing that book ?