Graduates: The Danger of Playing it Safe

What are you going to do with your one and only life?

You get one shot. It’s gonna fly by…just ask your parents.

How you decide to spend your life starts today. And, every day. I implore you to make a life, not just a living.

Truth is, your work takes up most of your time. Thus, you’ll need to ask yourself, “Am I excited about my day ahead? Do my gifts and passions line up with what I’m producing?”

If not, stop. Not necessarily cold turkey, but start planning an exit and find or create a new endeavor.

You might disappoint or worry your parents. Others may roll their eyes. But, this is YOUR life, not theirs.

The regrets of the aged are opportunities missed, ventures not attempted. Your mistakes and failures? You won’t even remember them. Trust me.

Go create your future and never (ever!) play it safe. (139 words)

Why My Commencement Speech Bombed

I wish I could have a “do-over”.

In light of tonight’s graduation ceremony in our sleepy, little lake community, I was reminded of perhaps the worst talk I have ever given. (believe me…I just read it, again, and should immediately send an apology to each of my classmates and the 2000 people that were in that sweaty gymnasium)

While I certainly had lofty goals, hopes and dreams to share, I was afraid it would come off as irresponsible and “out there”. Thus, I elected to play it safe.

I used big words and predictable advice. There was no heart, just platitudes such as:

“Life’s goals must be realistic and achievable. Otherwise, you will become frustrated.” (huh? yaawwwn)

“Set goals that advance your personal agenda. It’s your life.” (so, screw everyone else?)

Instead of inspiring my friends, I chose to impress and pander to the adults in the room. Ugh.

Fast forward to today (and, due to the inspiration of YOU and others): I don’t play it safe, I’m fairly irresponsible, often unpredictable…and, dream like crazy.

Keep inspiring me! (139 words)