This week all around the country many teenagers will graduate high school. All the years of homework, minimum wage, and social anxiety will culminate in the wonderful event we call graduation. Many will consider it their move from adolescence into adulthood. Some will go on to college, some directly to careers. Some will enter the military or leave on a religious mission abroad. No matter what the future holds for you, young graduate, there are some tips that I would like you to know as you enter “the real world.”
#1 – Enjoy your time at home. These are your last days with your parents and siblings. Once you leave it will never be the same, even if you come back. You may be in a hurry to get out on your own and experience the “freedom” outside the walls of your home but, trust me, it is a whole lot more complicated than it sounds.
#2 – Don’t grow up too fast. I remember as a teenager how I couldn’t wait to turn 18 and graduate high school. Then I couldn’t wait to be 21 and working towards getting into dental school. And in dental school I couldn’t wait to be done and moving on to my career. Eventually you get to a point and realize you spent so much time looking towards the next phase that you completely forgot to enjoy where you were. The future will come in time but you need to enjoy the present.
#4 – Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t take risks, you will never reach your full potential, and you also won’t have much fun. George Bernard Shaw once said, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” Risk and hard work pay off, mostly, and if they don’t, you will have still learned from the experience, or at least have become a horrible example to others!
#5 – Believe in something. If you are not passionate about something in your life, you are missing something essential. Find something to believe in, and when you do, work for it, sacrifice for it. The great joys in life come from devotion to a great cause; the type of cause that makes you to stretch and grow. Most people walk down the middle of that main road of life, where the ruts are deep and the excitement is watered down. Be one of the bold people who strikes out onto that “road less traveled by.” It will make all the difference.
#6 – Ignore the critics. The moment you decide to believe in something worthwhile you will find
#7 – Give something back. All of you were blessed with brains, skill and a drive to succeed, or you would not be sitting there this week in those caps and gowns. You don’t simply own those traits… you also owe those things to your parents, your community, and to your country. You are obligated to use those gifts for something other than your own aggrandizement and enrichment. The people I know who are really happy are those who have followed their own muse, and lived their lives in service to others. Do something useful with your lives. Make a difference in other peoples’ lives. Leave something behind when you leave this earth, not just because you should, but because it is the surest way of living a good and fulfilling life, and it will make you happy.
You have everything within you to create a happy, fulfilling, meaningful life. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Be bold in the pursuit of your dreams. We are excited to welcome you into the “real world.”
*** Do you have advice for a graduating senior? Post it in the comments below. I would love to create a post at the end of the week with advice from the Successify community! ***