1. Will I regret not doing this? Bezos, Amazon chief. Here it is from a recent article: ‘When faced with significant and tough decisions, Bezos is known for touting this framework as a way to help his decision making. When a big decision or idea presents itself to him, he thinks forward in time to when he is age 80. He asks “Will I regret not doing this?” His goal in life is to minimize the number of regrets, so his decisions are guided by that principle. If 80-year-old Bezos will regret not doing it, then he will move forward with the idea. He would much rather try something, even if he will fail, then not try it and regret it later’.
2. If not now, when? Hillel the Elder, rabbi, died in 10 AD. Actually, you get here three questions for the price of one. Personally, I must confess they have influenced me more than perhaps I have cared to acknowledge (although featured in many of my books and writing)
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, who am I?
If not now, when?”
(Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14)
3. What will I tell the children? Me. If we can’t answer this satisfactorily, I think we should be very restless. For me, it’s not what I will tell my business partners, my clients, my bank manager, my friends, my social group, my political party (I don’t have one) my tribe, my readers, my followers. #itsthechildrenstupid. My children. Their children. Your children. The next and next and next generations. It’s legacy. But it does not have to be with a big L. It just needs to pass the test though: will I get a red face? Smiling face? What face?
3 questions. That’s it.