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Graduation Speech

May 5, 2016

“Take control of your future…and life.

You graduated!  So what!  Until now your life has been pretty well managed.  You were in school.  You also might have had a job to help pay for college or been involved in some fraternity, charitable or student government activities.  Whatever your situation and ambition you were on a path decided in some regard by others.  You had some choices along the way but none as important as your next choice – that of choosing your career.

This choice and how you deal with it will determine whether you will have a lifelong romance with what you do or if you go home beaten up at the end of each day with your gaze on the retirement date circled on your calendar.

Some of what you do will be determined by others but they cannot control how you will feel – only you can do that.  You will need a good attitude always seeking the bright instead of the blight.  Approaching what you do from an optimistic view rather than a pessimistic.  Looking for the good and benefits of what you do instead of the bad and detriments.  It is up to you.

I know that others will affect your path especially at the beginning of your career.  You will need to learn your craft, profession or vocation.  You need to become a taker when it comes to learning – take from others what they present so you can grow.  Also, to be successful you will need to recognize when the taking tapers off – and then you will need to move to your next stage of taking.  And so forth even continuing until you are my age because learning and growing doesn’t end – ever – unless you decide to stop.  That decision will come quicker than you ever realized if your goal was that circled date on your calendar.

You have control of who you learn from; when and how you can grow; and how you can successfully apply what you know and use your experiences in a way that adds value to those you work for or serve as professionals.  Success will only come if you work at it and focus on it.  Success in helping others will also create a “high” that will propel you to greater heights.  Go for it!”

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