Change, desired or lamented, expected or served as a curveball, can affect us each in a myriad of ways. From emotional mood swings that combat us at unexpected times to spontaneous bursts of exhilaration as we allow the reality to sink in, and realize the opportunities that lay ahead, the experiences it causes to unfold can shock even the most well-experienced person.
The last day with my seniors was yesterday, and as was the occasion, I shared a few words of parting wisdom that have helped me along the way, and perhaps may be of some assistance no matter where they wish their path to go. At this point, they are more than likely ready to escape the direction of teachers, as I completely understand. Now is the time with the events of commencement to begin, to start fresh, to take off the training wheels and practice and apply all that has been learned. But should they want to hear just one more (or in this case, three) pieces of advice, I thought I’d say a few words.
While I shared the following three pieces of wisdom in class, my nerves and emotions grabbed me, and my delivery was not as I had hoped for each class. So I’d like to take the opportunity to share what I revealed to my students. Most likely TSLL readers are not those who are graduating from high school, let alone college, but perhaps anyone who is moving on to the next or a new stage will find these words helpful. For me, without question, they are words I believe in wholeheartedly as adhering to each of them has help me to curate a life I still pinch myself each time I realize it is my reality.
Here we go. To anyone reading, students and future alum of PHS or students of life, take them or leave them, it is entirely up to you as you no doubt have many talking heads from parents, relatives, administrators and even friends giving you words of advice.
1. Be willing to work hard for your life goals. It has been my experience that anything worthwhile doesn’t land in our laps (and if it does, question the heck out of it). Part of the reason we have a greater appreciation for hard sought after aspirations is that we recognize the time and energy it took to make the journey arrive at its destination. Too often, when we are handed something without blinking an eye, it is easier to toss it aside, as we don’t realize that for many such a feat was most difficult.
2. Be brave enough to get to know yourself. Take the time to discern which voices of guidance are truly yours and which are actually your parents, friends or society. In doing so, you will traverse along a trail that in retrospect you will be proud to say you had the courage to embark on. (Click here to read Why Not . . . Get to Know Yourself?)
3. Be kind. There will be days when it will be easier than others to extend a kind word or helping hand. There will be days when you know you could have done better, but trust me when I say, you will never regret choosing kindness even if it goes unappreciated. On that note, being kind may at times require you to say or do something someone doesn’t want to hear, but needs to hear. Find the courage and tact to do so. Perhaps down the road they will understand, but either way, your actions will rest well with your conscious.
And most importantly be kind to yourself. Be kind by saying “No” if that is the necessary answer (because “No” is an answer, even if someone doesn’t want to hear it), that is in alignment with your journey, destination, values and peace of mind. Be kind to yourself by caring for yourself so that you can be your best self. Because when we are each at our best, those around us rise with up as well.
The journey has already begun, but now more than ever you are at the wheel. Do not take for granted this opportunity. While it may be easier to sit in the backseat and let someone else navigate your journey, you’ll never know for sure where you will go or what you could have achieved. Be brave. Trust your compass. And enjoy the thrill of this adventure called life.
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY: