Jeff Bezos, the youngest ever vice President at Wall Street’s D.E. Shaw & Co. in 1994, faced a critical point. Leave the firm mid-year and forfeit a huge bonus, or start his passion- Amazon.
He pondered over this for some time and then asked himself one simple question- “Will this bonus matter when I turn eighty?” He got his answer in a flash – “No”. He knew clearly that he would regret it if he did not participate in this thing called the Internet. When he thought about it that way, it was incredibly easy to make his decision.
This was my biggest take away/insight from the biography of Jeff Bezos, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone and it has become a sort of mantra for me, which works magically in every situation. Whenever any situation or circumstances bothers me, I simply ask myself- “Will this situation or circumstance or it’s outcome matter to me after sometime?”.
Surprisingly, I usually get the answer in the negative and this simple awareness takes away the stress related to that situation or circumstance.
Earlier, I used to submit a proposal to a prospective client with the high expectations of winning it. Getting a ‘No’ from a prospective client used to bother me for quite a long period of time. Now, I simply process such a situation through Jeff’s technique and ask whether losing a particular client will matter to me in the longer term. It also helps me in looking at big picture and clears the cloud of self-doubt to take the next step. Many a times, I laugh at myself for making a situation so significant.
Somewhere, when I look deeper into this simple technique of bringing the awareness to foreground, it reminds me of the common eternal message of most of the religions on this planet: non-attachment. There is a subtle difference between commitment and attachment.
Long ago, I read somewhere- “Expectation is the seed and frustration is the crop”.
I look forward to hear your views and personal experiences. Your sharing does enrich my life and for that I am grateful to you!
Chandan runs a company named Blue Consulting Pvt. Ltd. , which specializes in providing Accounting and Taxation compliances services to MNC companies and professionally managed Indian companies.
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