Advice to graduates . . .

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/WzK

It's graduation time, and students all over the United States will be walking the final leg of one of their greatest accomplishments.  But, it's really only the end of the beginning.  School, whether it is high school or college is really a time of incubation.  During that time, material, much like breakfast, lunch and dinner is fed to students.  They can choose to consume it, or they can skip a meal here and there, but regardless, the meals are on the table.  The amount of nutrition derived from those meals will be determined by the nutritional content of the offerings. 

Not all food is worthy to be consumed.  Our national obesity challenge is evidence that there is a lot of low quality nutrition out there.  Those who recognize that and choose to seek out more nutritious food groups feel better, tend to be more healthy and may even live longer.  It's all about the quality of the food consumed. 

The same is true of academics.  Not all academics are nutritious.  Some teachers and professors wow their students with their great knowledge and insight.  They have an inner drive to see the students succeed and to become productive citizens of the world.  Others, have a personal agenda that is played out in the classroom day after day.  In their immaturity, some students may not be able to see the difference, but their next steps in life will reveal what type of academic meals they've consumed.

My advice to this graduating class is this:

  • Realize that your parents may be the only ones in life that think you're really special.  You will have to earn your own way with the rest of us.  There are no trophies for showing up in the game of life.
  • Don't assume the world owes you anything.  It doesn't, but that's OK.  That's how it is for all of us.
  • No matter how you grew up, the only limits on you will be the ones you impose.  Once you cross that threshold into adulthood, it's time to start taking responsibility for what your life will be.  A lot of us grew up in less than ideal situations.  It happens.  Some of us had horrific childhoods.  They were psychological nightmares.  Some of us had amazing childhoods.  Regardless of which childhood you had, you have a choice to walk away from the pains of the past or to let them dictate your future.  Your ability to have an amazing life really is within the choices you will make.
  • Your ability to succeed has nothing to do with your race, sex, religion, fiscal condition or nationality.  You can choose to blame those things for your struggles, or you can face your struggles head on and overcome them.
  • Wisdom is the effective use of knowledge.  You will gain it over time, but wisdom is something that only comes with time. You may not start out at the top of your profession.  That's to protect the rest of us because you're not ready to be at the top.  You need experience.  With your daily experience will come greater knowledge and seasoned wisdom.  Everyone pays his dues.  Pay them gladly, and over time, you will be at the top of your profession.
  • If you are willing to settle for anything, settle for 100% effort from yourself.  Some employers will see it and reward you for it.  Other employers will ignore it.  Regardless, a life of 100% effort gets rewarded in high self-esteem, a sense of a healthy pride and eventually the role that you want to play. If you have an employer that doesn't appreciate you, learn everything you can while you're there and then take that experience and knowledge on to the next job with a great employer.  You may have to go through two or three before you find that perfect job, but it's out there.  Practice giving 100% even when it's hard.
  • There will always be people along the way who will be willing to help you.  Pay attention so you don't miss them.  They may come from some unfamiliar sources, but they're out there.  Appreciate them, glean their wisdom and experience and then pass it on to another in their time of need. 
  • Limit your exposure to people who only take from you.  There are two types of people in the world: takers and givers.  Takers seldom give, and givers seldom take.  You need to keep the ratio of takers and givers way out of balance on the givers side.  Then, you'll have the strength to potentially help a few takers, but don't be afraid to cut them loose either.
  • If you have a dream, hold on to it.  Let it be the motivating force behind every step you take.  Don't let your dreams go just because it doesn't happen overnight.  Remember wisdom comes with knowledge.  Those weeks, months or years leading up to the fulfillment of your dreams are your training time.  Appreciate them for what they bring to your life experience.
  • Have fun along the way.  Being motivated to accomplish something can be all consuming.  Don't miss out on the fun in life.  Have fun.  Be a faithful friend.  Honor your parents.  Lift up the weary.  Find an outlet for your energies that are not work related.  Fill your mind with healthy thoughts and ideas.  Learn to relax and play.  Take a day off.  Eat nutritious food and sleep a good night's sleep.  Take care of your body.  You're no good to yourself, your employer/employees or your dreams if you adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. 
  • Listen to your conscience.  Your conscience is the voice of your soul.  Some may call it your gut, but no matter, listen to it.  It will try to direct you into right decisions and productive paths.  Every opportunity may not be right for you.  Always allow time before making major decisions.  It may only be minutes, but allow time for your conscience to speak to you. 
  • Do something that benefits others.  One of the greatest joys you will have in life is doing things that benefit others who have no way of repaying you.  Humble yourself and reach out to those who need you. 

It's time to launch out into the real world.  The academic environment really isn't the real world.  It's just the incubator you are hatched from.  Look back on it realistically and take the good, leave the bad and do something that inspires the world. 

 

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Rainer
340,782
Brad MacKenzie
Success! Real Estate - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Good words from what sounds like a lot of life experience! Sometimes talking to graduates is a good way for the rest of the audience to reflect and evaluate, too!

June 02, 2013 07:30 AM #1
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

That's a good insight, Brad.  Thanks for dropping by.

June 02, 2013 07:32 AM #2
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- excellent and had to suggest this.  I wouldn't hurt to pass this on to not only graduates but the rest of us!!!The last one is one of my favorites.... "do something that benefits others."   And one more "wisdom is the effective use of knowledge", with "effective" being the operative word. 

June 02, 2013 07:38 AM #3
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Kathy.  Have a restful Sunday.

June 02, 2013 07:52 AM #4
Ambassador
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Mike - That's a great commencement speech, and excellent advice for any point along the path.

Featured in BananaTude!

'Tude!

June 02, 2013 08:07 AM #5
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Dick.  

June 02, 2013 08:09 AM #6
Rainer
204,518
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

What a great message to send to graduates.  It really covers all of the important points.  I wonder though, due to lack of wisdom, how many graduates will be able to absorb the full value of your words.

June 02, 2013 08:29 AM #7
Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Dang, Mike!  You should be on the circuit so you can share your wisdom with those grads. 

June 02, 2013 08:31 AM #8
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

That's a good question, Mark.  

Too funny, Pat.  It has been a long time since I did a commencement address, but they are always fun.

June 02, 2013 08:44 AM #9
Rainmaker
445,308
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

Spot on advice for all, not just those graduating!

June 02, 2013 08:57 AM #10
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Kathy.  It has always been my personal philosophy on life.

June 02, 2013 09:01 AM #11
Rainmaker
428,821
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicago-land and its Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Great advice Mike and a good speech at a graduation. I wish I had known what I know now at the time I graduated.

June 02, 2013 09:06 AM #12
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Amen, Noah.

June 02, 2013 09:10 AM #13
Ambassador
2,387,345
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Hey, Mike!  I included this post in today’s Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and and have a terrific week!

 

June 09, 2013 06:22 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,352,974
Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Waukesha County Realtor, RE/MAX Buyer Agent

I saw this post from Patricias last weeks favorites/wrap up....glad I didn't miss it!  Thanks for sharing!

June 09, 2013 07:27 AM #15
Rainmaker
548,739
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
California Broker and REALTOR

Mike.  Wow.  That is great advice.  I may just have to reread this about every 6 months or so.  Nicely done.

June 09, 2013 10:52 AM #16
Rainmaker
540,930
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Mike, I saw a post today on FB that simply said, "Congratulations - on graduating from the easiest part of life!"

June 09, 2013 03:08 PM #17
Rainmaker
784,263
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Pat.

Thanks, Kristin.

Too funny, Gary.

That's for sure, Eric.

June 09, 2013 03:30 PM #18
Rainmaker
350,270
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Wonderful Advice for graduates - Now if they would only HEED it!

June 09, 2013 07:05 PM #19
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Mike Cooper

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Winchester has a place for you! Call me.
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