May 3, 2012

If I was giving a commencement speech, it would look like this:

I've been very busy.  Tomorrow, after about thirteen years of studying whatever the hell I wanted at a college level, I'm graduating.  And because I can't do anything BUT write whenever my mind dwells on an event or a milestone or an emotion... I wrote a commencement speech.  And here it is.

There are some who would say that, now that college is over, our best years lie ahead.

That may be true.

There are also those that say that our best years are already behind us.

And this might also be true.

You have no doubt heard that you get out of college what you put into it, that all of your hard work or lack thereof will pay off.

And this might also be true.

But I don't think any of it is.

Life is life, simply put.  It is not always fair.  Sometimes, you work as hard as you can and you have nothing to show for it.  Sometimes, you coast through without a care in the world, and everything just works out for you.  Sometimes, the best time of your life seems to have passed, and you are faced with a future filled with terrifying unknowns.  Sometimes, the future seems to be full of nothing but promise.

But I do know one thing...

Life is what you make it.

What matters not only to you but to the success or failure of your life only makes a difference because you have made certain choices, set certain priorities.  It only matters because you choose to make it matter.

Today, we can celebrate one fantastic accomplishment.  But only you know how significant it will be to your life, to your future, to your success.

And then again, maybe you don't.

Life is what you make it.  Go into the world a make a difference.  Go into the world and work your butt off, and collect your paychecks, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.  Go into the world and do what brings you joy.  Make your permanent mark on society.  Change the landscape of our lives.

This is a time to revel in possibilities, but every day is a time to revel in possibilities.

Every day is filled with the promise of the rest of your life.

If you figure out how to live your whole life with that in mind, you cannot help but to succeed.  Because you are the only measure of your own success.

You are the champion of your own cause.

You are the author of your destiny.

Whatever ideas you have now for your end game, abandon them.  Life has no end game.  There are no winners and losers.  There are only those who reach the end satisfied with the journey, and those who leave behind an endless wake of "what ifs" and second guesses.

You have the tools to take control, to succeed in your dreams.

And that makes today no different from every day of your so-called "adulthood."

Today you are one step closer to a lifetime of happiness, because today you are one step closer to having led a full life.


And good luck.

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