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)

Don’t Be Offended

I’ve spent an awful lot of my life worrying about what other people thought of me. Whether it was my appearance, ideas, habits, music and food choices or my decision making, I would always wonder what “they” were wondering.

And, it would paralyze me. Or, it would alter an otherwise perfectly good idea or action. Solely because of a perceived notion that others wouldn’t approve.

I’ll never forget what my friend once quoted that has helped me (slowly) move past my insecurities and people-pleasing tendencies.

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Boom! People are too tied up in their own life to spend energy criticizing or thwarting your endeavors. Make it and ship it. Buy it and wear it. Order it and eat it. Lead on! (139 words)