You can’t have a graduation in your family without stopping for at least a little bit
As you walk across that stage on Saturday, clad in your Apple Valley cap and gown, resplendent in shades of brown, look out on the crowd and know that as good as this feels,
It’s only the beginning.
It think Dr. Suess said it best:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Dude, you’re making a big leap from the friendly confines of hearth and home to big wild world. Before you go I encourage you look out from the stage and take pause. Your friends and family are in that crowd somewhere, cheering for you, but this isn’t where you future lies.
You’ve set yourself up to do great things, to go to new places, to see more of the world and I couldn’t be prouder of the courage and fortitude it took to make those choices. I’m proud of your accomplishments and I’m happy to help you anyway I can. Do you best and know you have our support.
In a few short months you’ll be packing your things heading south. Here’s what my experience has taught me;
- Be yourself. You’ll never be happy trying to be something you aren’t.
- Find something you love. Money is a short term motivator. It makes some things easier but it doesn’t guarantee happiness.
- Don’t look back. The past is the past, mistakes and triumphs. What you’ve done may set you up for your future, but at the same time it shouldn’t dictate it course. It’s hard to understand now but I’m 99% certain that the lifetime friends you’re going to make, the people who will shape you and make you into person you’re going to become, well son, you haven’t met them yet. It’s not too likely they’re in that crowd in front of you. Look ahead.
- Take risks. The world reinvents itself faster now than at any time in human history, it’s more important to understand where we’re going than where we’ve been. It’s far easier to take risks now than it will be when you’re fat and old.
- Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve truly, in your heart, followed this rule.
- Don’t subscribe to dogma and superstation, in the end none of that really matters. Culture and traditions are neat, but also, in the end, don’t matter.
- It takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at something. That’s about 5 years of practice. Don’t pretend to be an expert until you’ve put in your time.
- Listen well. Always and to everyone.
- Have humility. Laugh at no one except yourself. We’re all just a couple bad breaks away from sleeping in bus stations.
- Seek out opportunities to good in the world. They’re all around you. Hold open doors for others, assume you’re wrong and take care of your friends. Nothing bad ever happened from spreading some good karma.
- Everything you do from your first day in college on matters, so do it to the best of your ability.
- Don’t get any tattoos they’re ugly, you’ll regret them and I’ll disown you.
- A little of everything goes a long way, to much of anything will wreck you.
- Some people fill your bucket, some people empty, surround yourself with fillers. Life’s to short for downers, even ones you’re related to.
- Vote Democrat or don’t vote at all, the alternative is….
- Family is not the most important thing in the world. Friends and the relationships you make are.
- Don’t waste your time on stupid arguments or irrelevant discussion. Learn to be polite and to walk away.
- The poor are among us. Feed the poor.
Other than that fly right, live clean and let your works be seen as the great Bob Marley says.
So that’s it. Have fun tomorrow. Enjoy your day, but don’t get to excited ’cause the best things in life haven’t even begun yet.