It’s that time of year when teachers, parents and commencement speakers share congratulations of a job well done to graduates at every level and warnings about how they wish they knew then what they know now. Graduates in return, say thank you very much and then set off to make many the same mistakes for themselves. I know of what I speak having been said graduate.
What’s most amazing about this graduating time of year is that the messages from those who have gone before you are not only valuable to the graduate, but to anyone who is willing to listen. “But, I’m old and my time has passed…it’s too late for me!!” you cry! No, it’s never too late to start doing the things that can lead to greater success in your life. You can still make a difference to yourself and to others.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” Chinese Proverb
What I wish I had known then: (BTW, I would love to know what you think…comment in the space below)
#1 – What you do today impacts your tomorrow – call it “Cause & Effect” or “Sowing & Reaping”, the truth is that how you “choose” to live today will impact how you will live tomorrow. Choices Matter! Today Matters!
#2 – Manage Time Wisely – you can either spend the 168 hours you have this week, or you can invest them, either way those 168 hours are going to pass. What will you have to show for them when they are gone?
#3 – Continue to Learn – turn off the TV (or other device that consumes untold hours) and pick up a book. No one will give you a homework reading assignment any more, you have to choose to continue to pour great things into your heart and mind.
#4 – Be Generous – when you give it away, it always comes back to you. Search for those in need and help where you can.
#5 – Never blame others – even if it is not your fault, be accountable for a better outcome. It is easy to play the victim when things don’t go as planned. Instead, take personal responsibility for overcoming the setbacks and driving a different outcome.
#6 – Be Balanced – It’s okay to work hard, but not at the expense of those closest to you in life. When you are at work, work. When you are at home, home.
#7 – Be respected most by those you know you best – it’s easy to put on a mask out in the world and make people who don’t really know you like you. But if the people at home where no masks are worn like you, well, that’s something worth being proud of.
#8 – Make Your Bed – do the small, seemingly insignificant things, every day and over time you will generate remarkable success.
#9 – Invest in others – it’s tempting to think that this is all about us, but it’s not. Invest in others and you will multiply your impact. Let people know they are valued.
#10 – Fail forward – never let a failure or a mistake stop you. Learn from it and move forward. Making a mistake or failing at something is not a problem, repeating the same mistake is a problem. Make all new mistakes today.
Those are my BIG lessons. There are many more, but we will leave space for you to add your big learning’s. I would love to hear what you wish you have known then.
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