I had the distinct honor to give the commencement speech at Gaithersburg High School’s 2018 graduation. Here is a slightly shortened version of what I shared:
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to share 3 impactful lessons to hopefully help you write the next chapter of your life. And don’t forget…
- YOU are the author of your story.
- YOU write the script.
- YOU hold the pen.
Lesson #1: Find Your Calling
They say the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you realize why.
How do you find your true calling?
- Find what you love to do.
- Figure out what you’re really good at.
- Discover where those two points intersect.
Your calling is the sweet spot that combines your passion and talent.
But just because you find your calling… it doesn’t mean life will be easy. Finding your calling is only the first step. You still need to put in the work.
When I was a little kid I was told I could be anything I wanted to be.
But that isn’t true.
You can’t be anything you want to be.
But you can be anything you deserve to be.
Wanting it is not enough. Everyone wants it. You have to earn it.
And how do you do that?
- Work hard
- Work smart
- Do both of those consistently
If you consistently give your best effort and have a winning mindset… you will earn happiness, success and significance.
Lesson #2: Learning Never Stops
As proud as you should feel for graduating high school, you need to know that your learning is far from over. You have only begun to scratch the surface of what you will learn.
You need to strive for improvement every single day. You need to make learning a daily ritual. Why?
- You will always be a work in progress.
- You will never be finished.
- You will always be under construction.
They say that knowledge is power.
Well it isn’t. That’s a lie.
Knowledge is not power.
In fact, knowledge unapplied is completely worthless.
It’s the application of knowledge that is powerful.
It’s not enough to know… you must do.
You need to put your knowledge into action to actually change your life.
After all… if nothing changes… nothing changes.
It’s been said there are 3 types of people in this world…
- Those that make things happen
- Those that watch things happen
- And those that have no clue what’s happening
Obviously, I encourage you need to be in that first group.
And the only way you can do that is by consistently learning… and then more importantly… putting what you learn into action.
Lesson #3: Invest Your Time
You may not realize it now, but time is without question, your most precious resource.
That’s because your life is like an hourglass. And the moment you were born, your hourglass got flipped over and the sand started falling.
I’ve learned there are 3 indisputable truths about time.
There are 3 indisputable truths about your hourglass.
- You don’t know how much sand is at the top. Time is not promised and it is not guaranteed. Every one of us knows someone whose sand ran out unexpectedly.
- You can’t stop the sand from going to the bottom. Time can’t be stopped and it can’t be paused. It’s ever fleeting. The clock is always ticking and the calendar is always flipping.
- Once the sand hits the bottom – it’s gone forever! You can’t save time and you can’t get time back. Yesterday’s newspaper has already been printed.
If time is our most precious resource, than our attention in the present moment is our #1 currency. Our attention shows what we care about and it shows what we truly value.
So invest it wisely.
How do you do that?
Be where your feet are.
Wherever your feet are… make sure your head and heart are there as well.
Give everyone and everything you care about your full attention.
Investing in the important relationships in your life is one of the soundest investments you can make.
Finally, I want to summarize everything you need to know in just 3 words.
That’s right, I can summarize everything you need to live a happy, fulfilled, successful and significant life… in only 3 words.
Make good decisions.
Yes, make good decisions.
If you make good decisions, you will have a good life.
If you make great decisions, you will enjoy a great life.
After all, the decisions you make today… determine who you will be tomorrow.