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Life lessons for new graduates

One of the great accomplishments one can achieve in their teen years is graduating from high school. Wilcox Newspapers has underscored this achievement by honoring grads in several of our local newspapers. It is a daunting task, but we believe each graduate should be recognized for that achievement.
Of course, the big question for all grads, is where do we go from here? Some will go to college. Others will go to trade schools, and still others will get a fulltime or parttime job. But as we move out into the real world we are going to face many challenges. As an aid to those challenges, I have compiled a few paragraphs from some of the better graduation speeches made by famous people. I suggest we all read and adhere. Here we go:
Comedian Conan O’Brien told graduates: “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can be a catalyst for profound reinvention”
Apple founder Steve Jobs addressed graduates in 2005with one of the most quoted speeches ever. In that speech he said, “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
George Saunders, bestselling author, advised graduates to “Travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first testing it for monkey poop)- but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.”
Admiral William McRaven offered graduates this advice: If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce that fact that little things in life matter…”
Comedic writer Nora Ephron asked graduates: “What are we going to do now? Everything is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it’s going to be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened. You can always change your mind. I know. I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”
Professor Dr. Marie Miranda told graduates one of my favorite lines: “As much as I want to highlight the importance of the expertise you have developed, I also want to make that point that you will face situations in the years ahead where you will have no relevant expertise; you will have no evidence base to rely upon; In those situations, I would like to suggest that you respond with love.”

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