A Message to You and to All Graduates

Many people see graduation as an end.  It’s an end to many hours of hard work, determination, successes and failures.  It’s an end to your formal years of schooling.  You are being awarded a diploma which signifies that you did it.  You have accomplished something that on average one in five people your age don’t.

But this is far from the end.  This is a beginning.  You have hatched.  You are ready to fly on your own.  You can’t go back to early childhood and make a brand new start.  You can however start from now and make a brand new ending.

What will your ending look like?  How will you impact this world?  I’m sure most of you are scared for what the future might hold.  Let’s face it, the future can be unpredictable and sometimes what we don’t know can be fearful.  I’ve compiled a list of tips and advice that will be sure to help you on your journey.  I encourage you to make it habit to live by each one of these as you navigate your life.

  1. You have two choices when it comes to FEAR: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.  It has often been said that the magic happens just outside of our comfort zones.  After all, if we were all confined to our comfort zones, the world would actually be quite uncomfortable.
  2. Shower the world with positives: If we do this we can drown out the negatives.  Share good news with people.  Smile and smile often.  The world is far better than the media portrays it to be.  See the positive in everything.
  3. Be thankful: You would not be where you are today without the support of those around you.  Thank your parents.  Thank your teachers.  Thank your friends.  And don’t forget to thank our veterans.  All of these people have given you life, purpose, and freedom.
  4. You can’t be sensational without being relational: Relationships are the building blocks to success for any individual or organization.  You will need others to help you get to where you want to be.
  5. Circumstances are temporary, but connections are forever: Don’t go it alone.  Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
  6. Sometimes it’s the unlearning that yields the greatest learning: Don’t be afraid to be wrong.  Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.  Mistakes and failure are essential for growth.  Fail-forward!
  7. Don’t love to hate and don’t hate to love: The remedy for eliminating hate is a large dose of love.  It’s simple, love will always trump hate.
  8. What you see with your eyes can blind you from reality: Train yourself to see with your heart.  Your heart will reflect the truth.  Our eyes only see the surface, but we are who we are for what is inside us, not what’s on the outside.
  9. Who will be you if you keep trying to be someone else: Don’t’ conform to the societal pressures.  Slim, fit, muscular, rich, etc.  YOU DO YOU.  Don’t let anyone define you.  You define yourself.
  10. Have a conversation with somebody new every day: Everybody has a story to be heard and maybe you were the one meant to hear it. We may never know how powerful our words and ears can really be.
  11. Don’t judge others: When we judge others we don’t define who they are, rather we define who we are. Leave the judging to the ultimate judge.
  12. Don’t rely on “GPS” to get you to where you want to go in life: Rather use a “Compass” and never be afraid to carve your own journey. You will never discover anything new by taking the same road everyone else takes.  Make your own road.
  13. Inspire people to inspire others: Spread your inspiration onto others. Create a domino effect of it.

I know this is meant for graduates but I think there is something we could all take from this.  Life will not always be easy.  It will never be perfect, but if we train ourselves to see value in each other and ourselves we can begin to change the world for the better.  Differences should be celebrated.  Our gifts should be shared.

What will you leave this world?  How will you be remembered?  Let’s all begin to live by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Congrats to all 2017 graduates.

Travis Jordan (@Supt_Jordan)