Important Life Lesson From Jeff Bezos Princeton Commencement Speech

Here is an important life lesson from Jeff Bezos Princeton Commencement Speech delivered to the Class of 2010.

In his speech, Jeff Bezos told the audience that that his grandfather gently and calmly said to him: “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.

"Jeff Bezos Princeton Commencement Speech"Jeff Bezos the founder and chief executive officer of, went on to talk about the difference between gifts and choices.

He said, “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.

Here are more inspiring words abstracted from the speech:

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?

….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.”

Talking about making choices and decisions, here are eight great making choices or decisions in life quotes:

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”  – Albert Camus

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. ” – William James

“Indecision becomes decision with time.”  –  Unknown

“Everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do.” – Denis Waitley

“We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.” – Gary Collins

“Every choice moves us closer to or farther away from something. Where are your choices taking your life?

What do your behaviors demonstrate that you are saying yes or no to in life?” – Eric Allenbaugh

“Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives.” – Richard Bach