The name “Jeff Bezos” is probably familiar to most people. You may already know that he quit his Wall Street software engineering job in 1994 to start Amazon.com in his garage and, since then, his little enterprise has sky rocketed to annual revenues in the billions. I mean, what DOESN’T Amazon touch? What you may not know, however, is what gave Jeff Bezos the confidence to make the decision to start something new.
In an interview at the Ideas Festival years ago, he explained that when considering whether or not to stay in his safe and lucrative career on Wall Street, he imagined what it would be like to start his own company. But he didn’t just look a month or a year into the future. As he explained in the interview, “The best way to think about it was to project my life forward to age 80”, and then take the path that “minimized my regrets”. Once he did this, the answer became “immediately obvious.”
So, as you look back at the year, and consider your future direction, take a cue from Mr. Bezos. Project your life forward to age 80 and think about what you’d regret. If you have a tough decision to make about your future (and it doesn’t have to involve Amazon-sized choices), what choice would you make? What would you choose that will make you the most proud that you tried?