As my second child prepares to graduate from high school and launch herself into the collegiate world and the wider universe beyond, I find myself thinking about the last few months I have with her before she leaves us to start the next chapter of her life.
Any parent who has experienced a child leaving for college knows that although they come back for visits and meals and money, they never REALLY come back, and that your influence on them wanes more than a little bit when they have almost complete dominion over when they go to class, when they get up, and what they choose to do in their free time. They are almost fully-formed, confident that they know more than their parents do, and we have to take bite-sized chunks of time to connect with them and give them all of the wisdom we wish we’d had when we were their age.
For the last several years, I’ve written my thoughts about what I would say if I were asked to give a commencement speech to this age group (it’s on my bucket list – someday it will happen!), but until that invitation, here are some of the most important things I’ve learned in life and in my work with men and women around the world on how to create their own best lives.
Although ten tips is a nice, round number, I think these eight pointers summarize what has stood out most to me most in the last year as I’ve waded through recent research and observed friends, family members and clients successfully leave behind a legacy they are proud of, wherever they go. May we all continue to learn and grow throughout our lives, finding role models and inspiration that keep us moving along the path of deliberate choice, and may this graduation season give us the fresh impetus to reexamine the principles that guide and motivate us.