Advice for the Graduate (Or Anyone Else Wanting to Succeed)

You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game”. In other words, it’s time to make the decision to “Step Up and Play Big”. But, what does that really mean? Consider the following:

To Step Up and Play Big:

  1. You recognize that you alone are responsible for your life, career and future.
  2. You know that you can have more but also recognize that you must be the right person to work for it and earn it.
  3. You recognize that it does not require as much extra effort as one would think to perform at a higher level.
  4. You regularly question the “status quo”  and be open to finding or creating new opportunities
  5. You recognize that your habits define you. As such, you’re always looking for ways to enhance existing habits and learn new ones to help you elevate your game
  6. You see mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new
  7. You know that as you learn and apply new habits and behaviors you begin to stretch the limits of your capabilities. This “stretching” will make you feel uncomfortable.  Your long term success will follow as soon as you realize that you must “get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable”
  8. You don’t play it too safe and accept less than what you are truly capable of doing.
  9. You act with “quiet confidence” – that is, there is no need to talk about what you do or how well you do it; your actions are all that others need to see.
  10. You are willing to confront fear and take risks to move forward. Nothing will come to you unless you act first and that’s where taking risks enters the picture.

Many new graduates find it easy to follow the crowd, seek safety in numbers and then get comfortable in a world of “sameness or average”. As Yogi Berra once said, “don’t always follow the crowd, a lot of people go there and it gets too crowded”.

It’s your time to take a risk and strike out on your own and challenge yourself to use your full capabilities. Don’t try to be perfect. Perfect is boring. Just give it your best effort on a consistent basis. Your future is out there waiting for you to create it. Get started and get to work.

Believe in yourself; learn from your mistakes; keep your sense of humor; don’t let fear paralyze you. Commit to learn something every day. If you do these things, your future will be bright and you will be the example for others to follow.

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