With my oldest about to turn 18, gulp, there have been a lot of talks in our house about the future and paving a path forward in life. The beautiful thing about high school graduation is that it is a clean, fresh start. A chance to take all that has been learned and forge forward into new learnings and to creating a life for ourselves. Even though most of us are slightly past high school graduation, maybe more than slightly, the advice is still pertinent. Here are three pieces of sage advice that can benefit us all.
First, whatever path you choose in life, whatever profession you choose do it well. Take pride in our craft and pour your heart and soul into it. To give it any less would be to short change yourself of both your full potential and opportunities. As Ralph Waldo Emerson eloquently wrote, “a man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.”
Secondly, don’t be afraid to choose the path less traveled. It is easy to follow the herd and a path that has been freshly cleared, but it is not always rewarding. This will make being passionate about what you do difficult. Blaze your own trail.
Lastly, the biggest challenge and the biggest accomplishment is to be authentically you. There is a constant pull, amplified by social media, for you to fit a certain mold. The pressure to dress and look like celebrities and influences is unending. The pressure to be the perfect spouse or parent is suffocating. Never mind the fact the definition of perfect parent depends on which day of the week it is, what season it may be and the time of day. If you try to keep up with the ever evolving standards, you’ll drive yourself crazy. If on the other hand you remain true to yourself, you can keep your sanity and should feel a great sense of accomplishment.