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With hindsight: Dear Olivier…

The new CEO of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, Olivier Chavy, writes a letter to his younger self filled with sound advice on embracing life.

Today is one of the key dates of your life. You have just graduated from hotel management school and have flown the nest to start your own life.
I still remember the very emotional day when Dad and Mum took you to your very first day at school in Cannes. I am not sure who was the proudest, you or them?

I would like to share with you some of what I have learned, and thoughts gained over time through experience and events in life.
Always try in life to give back as much as you receive.

The balance between giving and receiving is crucial. This applies to personal and professional life. The day you realise that you don’t receive or bring anything anymore means that it’s time to move on and to take a different direction.

Always try to make your own choices. You may seek advice, share your uncertainties and questions; challenge yourself and the people around you to weigh the pro and cons — but in the end your decisions should always be your own. You should live life by your own design.

Whatever you do or decide in life, just do it, move on and don’t allow any space for regrets. “I wish, I would” … you can rarely go backwards in life, so don’t try to slow down on the slide, unless you realise you took the wrong path.

You should live life by your own design.” – Olivier Chavy

You received three gifts from God: You don’t know when your life will end; you don’t know what tomorrow will bring; and, you will never know what would have happened if you had taken a different direction. This means that you should live your life at 100 per cent, look backwards only in order to learn from past experiences, embrace life and do your best to achieve your dreams and your goals.

Discover the world; meet others; challenge yourself; open your heart, mind and soul; fight and overcome your fears; recognise and acknowledge love; share, express, communicate — and try to always have in mind: “faith, love, understanding and hope”.

Last but not least, my ultimate wish for you, Olivier — keep this forever engraved in your heart: When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything my parents gave me.”

It is not the things you did that you regret on your death bed — it’s the things you didn’t do!


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