With our daughter graduating from high school this year, we’ve attended quite a few ceremonies and open houses.
It’s been truly wonderful seeing these kids grow up together, from pre-school on up to commencement.
I’ve heard it so many times from those older and wiser than me, “They grow up so fast.” It’s true.
And, it’s full of mixed emotions. As parents, we have so many fond memories of when they needed our attention as little children. When they get older, we are the ones seeking their attention. As a parent, it feels pretty cool when they want to hang out with us. But, we are also excited to see our children grow into amazingly talented adults.
A little advice
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to meet up with many of my high school classmates to celebrate our 30-year reunion. Those 30 years flew by pretty fast, which always seems to be the case.
As I reflect, here are some thoughts that have occurred to me since my high school graduation day.
Graduation from high school is the beginning of the rest of your life.
All throughout high school, everyone is somewhat guided down the same path with a few variations along the way. You are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities, which is great for keeping you busy and expanding your horizons. Of course, you establish your study habits, and really figure what you like and don’t like for subjects. What you are good at and not so much.
After high school, you spread your wings and take flight. You’ll choose a path, and things won’t work out quite like you thought they would, so you’ll change your course of direction. You will fail, but you’ll learn something from that experience. And, whenever possible, listen to your elders. Look at the people you consider successful in life, and learn from them. Their wisdom can save you from wasting time and money.
All the cliques in high school won’t matter anymore. Be friends with everyone who reciprocates equally positive energy. Avoid toxic people, because they will only weigh you down. Never burn bridges. You may unexpectedly find those relationships of value some day.
Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. No job should ever be beneath you. And, when you walk into an employer for an entry level job, don’t expect to start at the wage you want to make. Show the employer what you can do for the company. If you prove yourself, your compensation will eventually reflect your level of commitment. Nobody owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to maximize your potential. You’ll feel better about your accomplishments once you’ve earned that recognition.
Remind yourself of this regularly: “You get out of it what you put into it.”
Life will not go as planned, and that’s OK. Adaptability will become tremendously important. I’m often amazed when things go as planned.
From age 18 to 25 was the most interesting time in my life. That’s when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What was going to be my career path in life? In my case, my career found me.
You will be leading businesses some day. And, you won’t even realize the significance of it until it happens. You will be leading your community some day. In some cases, you won’t even ask for this responsibility. It will be part of the evolution of your life experience and wisdom, by default.
That saying, “You can accomplish anything you want in life” may sound cliche – but it’s true.
The only one holding you back is you.