After Graduation, Remember This

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornIt's another season of diplomas, of caps and gowns, of students marching across a stage and into a new life. So whether they're on to college, a career, the military, or just a bit of wandering, it's time to hail the graduates!

Today, this message is for you, Graduate—yes, you, with your education in hand, your tassel freshly flipped, and pink Silly String on your shoe. As you take your next steps into this ever-changing world, your brain has been packed with information, facts, trivia, and far too many essay questions.

I'll go out on a limb here and tell you that you can forget all that extra stuff if you'll work to remember just a smidgen of the scholarship you've gained thus far. That's right, you will be successful in life if you remember only these few things:

Remember: Don't shove. That's right, things haven't changed much since the kindergarten lunch line. There will be times in life when people don't move as quickly as you'd like them to. There will be times when people get in your way or get in between you and something you want.

Even so, believe me when I say that pushing others around isn't a good way to get where you're going. Sure, you might have some initial success with it, but people will put up with only so much from a shover. After just a little while, they'll figure out that you care about yourself more than anything—and they probably won't stick around for long after that.

Remember: Brand names don't make a person. When you were in school, there were certain groups of people who cared a lot about brand names: whether it was the brand name on a shirt, the brand name on a backpack, or the brand name on a shoe.

I hope you know by now how ridiculous and hurtful that system is—but I'll tell you right now that somehow it has survived past high school and even college. In the working world, people will talk about their new cars and their big houses and their expensive vacations, and there will be pressure on you to feel less important, simply because you have less.

There'll be pressure on you to get more so you can be more—more happy, more respected, more whatever. Don't cave to it. Money doesn't equal happiness, and brand names don't make a person. When you can smile about what you've got without wanting more, you're doing really well.

Remember: Be yourself. Parents and teachers always told you this was the easiest way to make true friends, and they were right. If you want to develop relationships with other people, you have to let them see the real you. People love genuine people, so don't be afraid to let loose a little bit.

Crawl out of your shell, get rid of the masks and disguises, and walk around being you for a while. Be proud of your beliefs. Be firm in your convictions. Be committed to what you know is right. Be comfortable being you.

Remember: Go for it! You would never have known that you're an artist if you hadn't picked up a paintbrush way back when. You wouldn't have made the team if you hadn't tried out in the first place. You wouldn't have built friendships without beginning at "Hello."

Getting anywhere in life takes a little bit of dreaming and a whole lot of risk. So settle in to your talents and your passions, but get wrapped up in your hopes and ambitions too. Stand up and step out.

Make something. Change something. Do something great. Aim high and don't expect to miss. Reach for something that seems out of reach, and don't be surprised to find that it's within your grasp.

Go for it, Grad, and enjoy becoming a little more of what you already are.
Author Information
Dan Seaborn
Dan Seaborn is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., an organization designed to assist and encourage people of all ages and stages of family development. As a featured speaker at churches and large-scale events such as marriage conferences, corporate functions, and university assemblies, Dan Seaborn has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. Through practical illustrations and memorable real-life examples, he encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes.

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