By Deb Henton, Ed.D.
As we send another group of students into the world this week, I turn my thoughts to what these young adults can expect, and perhaps even what they need to know, to enjoy a successful life. Here are some things that came to mind:
Be honest! It seems like an easy one, but it has implications in so many aspects of life it bears repeating again and again. Being honest in your personal life will ensure that those who choose to share your life do so based on who you really are, not just who you would like others to see. When push comes to shove, it is those that know the real you that will come to your aid if necessary.
Being honest in your professional life – admitting mistakes, knowing your strengths and weaknesses – will generate respect for your ethical approach. Believe it or not, a major key to success professionally is the willingness of those who know you to root for, and contribute to, your success. People don’t waste that kind of energy on unethical people.
“I can’t” should not be in your vocabulary. Society is full of examples of people who made great contributions based on little other than the confidence needed to succeed. Unfortunately, for every person who said “I can” there are thousands of examples of those who lacked the confidence to even try. Believe in yourself and your abilities and you will go places others only dream about.
Give more than you receive. You have skills and knowledge – put those things to use for a cause greater than yourself. The good will that you foster along the way will came back to you in times of need.
Life is filled with wonderful highs, but also unavoidable and terrible lows. It is in those moments of great challenge that your honesty, confidence, and generosity will pick you up and carry you to better days.
Congratulations graduates, and the best of luck to each one of you.