Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. That doesn't necessarily mean he's the smartest or even the hardest working—but it does mean the Amazon founder is a man to listen to, especially when he talks about how he got to where he is today.
After all, he wasn't born into the money he has now; Bezos earned it after making the life-altering decision to launch Amazon from his garage in July 1994. Fortunately for anyone who wants valuable insight into his success, the multibillionaire has never been shy about discussing the inspiring and disarmingly simple reasoning that went into his decision to go for it.
Bezos laid out his process clearly in a 2017 interview conducted by his brother Mark, reports Business Insider.
In 1994 Bezos worked in finance software on Wall Street, a safe job that admittedly made decent money. While considering his choice to either stick with that or go all-in on his own business, he took time away from the daily grind to mentally work through what he was doing. It wasn't all cold-eyed process, though, and he wasn't going to take a shortsighted approach.
"The best way to think about it was to project my life forward to age 80," Bezos reportedly told his brother, then take the route that "minimized...regrets." The moment he found this perspective, Bezos said his path was "immediately obvious."
So he left Wall Street and set up Amazon, a company that by 2018 was bringing in $232 billion a year.
Naturally, he had to factor the possibility of failure into the equation, and Bezos said it didn't bother him in the long run, because if his effort was a failure, he "would be very proud when I was 80 that I tried."
Some call this The Rocking Chair test, and Bezos wasn't the first person to come up with it, though he may be one of the best examples of how well it can work.
It really is as straightforward as it sounds, but for anyone who wants to break it down, the No Limits blog listed a series of questions to ask yourself in addition to the most basic one about looking back with pride:
* What decisions are you presently struggling with?
* What decisions are stopping you from having the life that you desire?
* What one decision do you keep putting off that could turn your life around?
* Maybe you need to make an impactful work-related decision?
* Maybe you need to know if you should follow your childhood dream and do what you really feel passionate about?
* Maybe you need to be certain of taking a risk and doing something new and different that you have never done before?
In the end, though, Bezos's image of asking himself how he might feel about the way he conducted his life when he looked back is the most compelling. By the time we reach 30—the Amazon mogul's age when he created the site—many people already have regrets.
Just admitting that alone is enough to encourage the idea of using the next 50 years after that to lose the habit of collecting more. Who doesn't want that rocking chair under their 80-year-old body to be as comfortable as possible?