One of the Greatest Speeches Ever | Jeff Bezos

TEDx

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EctzLTFrktc

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You guys will find that you have passions and having a passion is a gift I think we all have passions and you
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don’t get to choose them they pick you but you have to be alert to them you have to be looking for them and when you
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find your passion it’s a fantastic gift for you because it gives you direction it gives you purpose you could have a
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job or you can have a career or you can have a calling and the best thing is to have a calling and if you find your
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passion you’ll have that and all your work won’t feel like work to you many many kids and many grown-ups do figure
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out over time what their passions are and sometimes we let our I don’t think it’s that hard I think what happens
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though sometimes is that we let our intellectual selves overrule those passions and so that’s what needs to be
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guarded against my job one of my jobs as the leader of Amazon is to encourage people to be bold
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and people love to focus on things that aren’t yet working and that’s good it’s human nature that kind of divine
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discontent can be very helpful but you really you know it’s incredibly hard to get people to take bold bets and you
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need to encourage that and if you’re gonna take bold bets they’re gonna be experiments and if their experiments you
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don’t know ahead of time go they’re going to work experiments are by their very nature prone to failure but big
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success is a few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work so you know bold
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bets AWS Kindle Amazon Prime our 3rd party seller business all of those things are examples of bull bets that
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that did work and they pay for a lot of experiments I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at amazon.com
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literally billions of dollars of failures and you know you might remember pets calm or
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Cosmo or you know give myself a root canal with no anesthesia very easily none of those things are fun but but
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they also they don’t matter what really matters is companies that don’t continue to experiment companies that don’t
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embrace failure they eventually get in the desperate position where they only thing they can do is we could kind of
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Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence whereas companies that are you know
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making bets all along even you know big bets but not bet the company bets I don’t I don’t believe in bet the company
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bets that’s when you’re desperate that’s that’s the last thing you can do it’s not you can be out of work and you have
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terrible work-life balance you know even though you’ve got all the time in the world right you could just feel like oh
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my god you know I’m miserable and you would be draining energy and so you have to find that harmony it’s a much better
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word and I think for most people it’s about meaning people want to know that they’re doing something interesting and
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useful and for us you know because of the challenges that we have chosen for ourselves we get to work in the future
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and it’s super fun to work in the future for the right kind of person do you need to be if you nimble and robust so you
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need to be able to take a punch and you also need to be quick and and and and innovative and and doing new things at a
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high speed that’s that’s the best defense against the future and you have to always be leaning into the future if
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you’re if you’re leaning away from the future the future is gonna win every time never ever ever lean away from the
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future we all have adversity in our lives yeah I I would I would I doubt if you really you know if you know somebody
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any friend or anybody that you talk to there’s no lack of adversity and the and by the way that’s good because it’s what
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teaches us how to get back up you fall down you get back up it always happens and you know you get certain gifts in
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life and you want to take advantage of those but you I guess my advice on adversity and success would be to be
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proud not of your gifts but of your hard work and your choices so you know you may be the kinds of gifts you get light
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you know you might be really good at math it might be really easy for you that’s a kind of gift but practicing
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that math and taking it to the next step that could be very challenging and hard and take a lot of sweat that’s a choice
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you can’t really be proud of your gifts because they were given to you you can be grateful for them and thankful for
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them and but your choices you choose to work hard you choose to do hard things those are choices that you can be proud
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of being an inventor requires because the world is so complicated you have to be a domain expert I mean in a way even
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if even if you’re not at the beginning you have to learn learn learn learn learn enough so to become a domain
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expert but the danger is once you’ve become a domain expert you can be trapped by that knowledge and so
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inventors have this paradoxical ability to have that you know 10,000 hours of practice and be a real domain expert and
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have that beginner’s mind have that that look at it freshly even though they know so much about the domain and that’s the
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key to inventing you have to have both and I think that is intentional I think all of us have that inside of us and we
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can all do it but you have to be intentional about it you have to say yeah I am going to become an expert and
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I’m gonna keep my beginner’s mind you can’t skip steps you have to put one foot in front of the other things take
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time you there are no shortcuts and but but you want to do those steps with you know
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passion and ferocity it’s easy to have ideas it’s very hard to turn an idea into a successful product
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there are a lot of steps in between it takes persistence relentlessness so I always tell people who are you know who
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think they want to be entrepreneurs it’s you need a combination of stubborn relentlessness and flexibility and you
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have to know when to bewitch and basically you need to be stubborn on your vision because otherwise it’ll be
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too easy to give up but you need to be very flexible on the details because as you go along pursuing your vision you’ll
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find that some of your preconceptions were wrong you’re gonna need to be able to change those things so I think taking
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an idea successfully all the way to the market and turning it into a real product that people care about and that
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really improves people’s lives is a lot of hard work don’t try to chase what is kind of the
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hot passion of the day I think we actually saw this I think you see it all over the place in many different context
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but I think we saw it in the internet world quite a bit where you know it’s sort of peak of the sort of Internet you
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know mania and say 1999 you found people who were you know very passionate something they kind of left that job and
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decided I’m gonna you know could do something in the internet because it’s you know it was almost like the you know
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the 18-49 Gold Rush in a way I mean you find that people if you go back and study the history of the 18-49 Gold Rush
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you find that you know at that time everybody who was in was within the shouting distance of California was you
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know they might have been a doctor but they quit being a doctor and they started panning for gold and that that
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almost never works and even if it does work you know according to some metric financial success or whatever it might
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be I suspect it leaves you ultimately unsatisfied so you really need to be very clear with yourself and I think
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one of the best ways to do that is this notion of projecting yourself forward to age 80 looking back on your life and
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trying to make sure you’ve minimized the number of regrets you have that works for that works for career decisions it
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works for family decisions you know do you want I have a 14 month old son and it’s very easy for me to if I think
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about myself when I’m 80 I know I want to watch that little guy grow up and so if it’s I don’t want to be 80 and think
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shoot you know I missed that whole thing and I don’t have the kind of relationship with my son that I wished I
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had and so on and so on so if you think about that so I guess another thing that I would recommend to
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people is that they always take a long term point of view and I think this is something about which there’s a lot of
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controversy you know there’s a you know there’s a you know something a lot of people and I’m just not one of them
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believe that you should live for the now I think what you do is you think about the the great expanse of time ahead of
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you and try to make sure that you’re planning for that in a way that’s gonna leave you ultimately satisfied so this
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is just my this is the way it works for me and I mean this is everybody needs to find that for themself so there are a
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lot of paths to satisfaction and you need to find one that works works for you
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