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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

Here's to the Grads!

Now that most schools are out of session for the summer, the celebration of graduations and promotions is about over. And certainly, those on the higher ends of education have received their fair share of unsolicited advice.

They’ve been exposed to the useful messages, the not-so-useful.

They’ve heard the stories and the ramblings of those who turned speeches into political statements (not a criticism, just an observation).

Have you ever stopped to consider what you might want to share with a graduate if you were giving the speech, the presentation, the advice? What would your 18 or 23 year old self share with those commencing?

Since so much unsolicited advice is flowing so freely these days, here is my free version…no two cent charge.

  • When the times get tough, you need to be tougher. We’ve raised generations who need to be more resilient, yours truly included. Rely on those around you to lift you up and support you when you most need it, and never let down those who need you most when they have similar moments…or days…or years.

  • When you blow it, own it. There is no perfect in this world. Except maybe a four leaf clover. And a snowflake. If you make a mistake, being up front and fixing it (when you can) is essential.

  • Treat people with respect. The world is filled with too many people who didn’t learn this lesson along the way. Don’t be one of them. Please.

  • Be kind, and say please and thank you. There is nothing more valuable than a sincere thank you. And doing it in the old fashioned format of a written note? What a treat. The US Postal Service will love you, as will the recipient.

  • Be careful who you confide in. As we age, we all get burned. Not that I’m encouraging skepticism, but just be careful. The only secrets are those never shared.

  • Find your passion and pursue it. Believing passionately in the work you do will make the most challenging days a little more palatable.

  • Never go to a job for someone and never leave a job because of someone. Bosses and co-workers come and go. Be sure you ask yourself the hard questions before you bail on a job – if that person wasn’t there, would it be your dream job? Can you still be you and stay there with that person?

  • Listen more than you talk. Let’s face it. It’s a valuable lesson in life at any level, and I think people might just like you a little better.

May the recent graduates be prosperous and do us all proud. There is much work to do in this world. Live juicy!

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