What's the secret to a long, happy and successful life? That seems to be a question we ask ourselves over and over.
"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," Bezos said in his 2010 commencement speech at Princeton University.
The purpose of his speech, called "We Are What We Choose," was to emphasize the difference between gifts and choices: "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 choices."
In other words, no matter how successful you become, what you'll end up caring about the most in hindsight isn't the number of zeroes in your bank account, but it's the choices you made to get where you are.
But without the benefit of hindsight, how can we tell if we're on a path that we'll be proud of when we look back on our lives 10, 20 or 30 years from now?