Graduation season is upon us. College graduations….high school graduations…kindergarten…..
Many articles are being written, giving advice to new graduates. In particular, I always have enjoyed when people write to their twenty year old selves. The letters are typically filled with life wisdom from lessons learned the hard way and what success really looks like.
In that spirit, I was thinking about what I might write to my younger self. As I was thinking about what I might share, the idea of “more” kept coming to my mind. And as we have written about on the blog before, our direction in life and our careers come down to the choices we make. Choosing to go for “more” means leaving the comfort the many things in exchange for making a difference in those around me.
So if I were writing to my younger self, here are a few “more” ideas I would share:
Read more – commit to continuous grow
I wish someone had told me to keep learning after I left school. It was only years later, after attending a leadership conference that I finally got the itch to pick up books again. Like anything in this list, it is a choice to continuously learn. But if you are willing to make that choice, there is no shortage on very knowledgeable people writing and sharing on all mediums. Being curious and following those curiosities through to learning will never fail you. Read more.
Travel more – learn to see the world from other’s point of view
I have had good fortunate to travel widely in my career. To see other cultures first hand and understand what life is like can be eye opening. To learn how other cultures manage business, negotiations, and celebrations has taught me far more than I expected. While I hate being away from my family, I have enjoyed traveling all over the world. The world is far more than beautiful places; it is filled with wonderful people who also have families and who also want to grow and make a difference. Travel more.
Take care more – we only have one body and mind
I learned the hard way that years of eating poorly, overcaffinating to compensate for no sleep, and no exercise because there’s “no time” will catch up with you. Our health is like any other investment – neglect it, and you will pay the price. Commit to a healthy life style. Sleep, exercise, and eat right. While those may not be a popular combination as you start out in the work force, it will pay dividends when you do hit difficult seasons. Lastly, although it doesn’t fall within the traditional realm of being healthy, practice mindfulness. Switch off your devices occasionally. Go for a walk. Breath deeply. Your mind will thank you. Take care more.
Create more – be generous with your creativity, leadership, and gifts
One of the great tragedies in life is that at some point, many of us begin to believe we are not creative. Somewhere along the way, someone said something that caused us to feel self conscious about our creative ability. And unfortunately this often trickles into our lives. The key to fighting this is as Matt Appling suggests in his book “Life After Art” is that we need to return to the mindset we had as children: to be less self conscious and more generous with our work. One suggestion is to be more creative outside of the work place. Cook, draw, take pictures, play the guitar…whatever it takes. Giving ourselves permission to be creative outside of work will absolutely build our creative confidence to exercise our creativity and share ideas more in our work. Create more.
There are plenty of other things that I could suggest with more time and thought. But these are important to me, even today. We can have more in life if we are willing to make the choices to live and give more.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:
You’re Never Done Finding Purpose at Work – by by Dan Pontefract – via HBR
- SO WHAT: An important reminder that as our careers develop that we can still find new ways to engage our purpose
How Awe Sharpens Our Brains – by Michelle Lani Shiota and Greater Good Science Center – via Mindful
- So WHAT: Learn what awe is and why experiencing it can be an important tool in our creativity and development
The Power of Planting Big Dreams – by Benjamin Hardy – via Medium
- SO WHAT: Are you planting a tree or an orchard?
One CEO’s Secret To Checking Email Just Once A Day – by Tehrene Firman – via Fast Company
- SO WHAT: It is about choices and priorities.
Why You Need to Stop Complaining and Start Tackling Problems – by Gary Vaynerchuk – via Inc.
- SO WHAT: The best thing I read all week – a manifesto on complaining
all the best, kevin