In the past month I have been part of four graduation experiences. I noticed that similar advice was offered by the speakers and started thinking that each of us could benefit by following what was recommended.
- Use what you have learned - Each day life offers us experiences that help us to grow. Sometimes they are through formal training or educational programs. More often, however, they come from watching others, sharing information with a friend or learning a strategy through self-study. Use it or lose it!
- Surround yourself with positive people - Those who encourage us and think about things in a positive light inspire us to do the same. The result is that we become energized rather than being drained.
- Set big goals - A goal is a dream with a deadline. Some people are scared to dream and some just never assign a deadline As a result, they never are able to enjoy the success that is experienced when wishes are turned into realities.
- Believe in yourself - Many people are envious of what you have already done. Do you have a job? A resume? People who care about you? One or more skills? Expertise in a specific area? Remember: success breeds success so if you have been successful in even just one thing, then you can be successful in other things.
- Start today - Procrastination is easy to adopt but can be difficult to escape. Every day do at least one thing that will move you forward to the place you want to be.
- Seek help - Those who have developed expertise are usually willing to share ideas with others. Find someone who can be a mentor for you or even just provide a few words of advice so that your journey will be easier and enjoyable.
- Continue to learn - If you read five books about a specific topic you will have a fairly high level of expertise in that area. Sign up for a course. Visit a library on a regular basis. Listen to others.
- Strive for balance - Some fun, some work, healthy eating, and good rest will help you feel and do better.
- Change the world - You don't have to find a cure for cancer to make a difference. Perhaps you could visit someone who has cancer or drive that person to their doctor. Just a few kind words or a big smile can make a huge difference in the life of someone you meet today.
- Give thanks - Have you ever noticed that those who are thankful are easier to be around? Rather than focusing on what didn't go exactly as you had planned, try thinking about the blessings you have.
As I watched the graduates celebrate, I realized that behind the smiles there was also a bit of fear. They were leaving the safety and familiarity that they had known in their school environments. They were proud of their accomplishments but still had to face a future filled with unknowns. Most of them, however, were bravely choosing to confront the unknowns rather than to stifle their growth.
Some registered for advanced studies. Many chose to begin a career. Others planned travel. A few decided to do research, write a book or start a band. None of them know exactly how things will turn out.
Pretend that you have just graduated this month and can begin something new.
What would it be?
Well you don't have to be a new grad to start an adventure. Follow the ten wise steps listed above and before you know it, you too, will be on an exciting path that will change your life and the lives of others!