It’s May and that means graduation season. Right now millions of college graduates are chasing a limited number of jobs. It’s a war out there and the time has come for students to turn into warriors.
Every year, I write a commencement address and here are my notes for 2011. Please add your tips in the comment section or on the 8pm Warriors Discussion Forum on Facebook.
1) Commit to something bigger than yourself.
It’s harder to quit on something more important than yourself. Have a goal. Be on a mission. Change the world. Save a life.
If you want to succeed, you must commit yourself to doing something big. Go big or go home.
2) Figure out what you love to do.
I guarantee you will not succeed doing anything you don’t love. It’s just too hard these days to conquer the challenges you will face if you don’t love your work.
I am convinced that no matter what, if you do what you love, you will find a way to make money. The internet allows passionate people to make money on niches.
3) Start doing it. Now.
If you don’t love what you’re doing, make a change. Don’t put it into your 5 year plan. Start today. Even if you have to get/keep your day job, get an 8pm Warrior job and then listen, learn, and begin tonight.
4) Meet others who love what you love.
Few people can win alone anymore. The world is too complex and we need people to pick us up when we’re tired, broken, and failing. It’s a war out there, and you will fail, fall, and need help. Find others, learn from them and win. Together you are stronger.
5) Be different.
There is too much in this world: too much information, too many things, too many messages, and too many people. If you’re a “One in a Million” type of person, that isn’t good enough anymore. That means there are 6,800 other people just like you out there, and they are all connected on the internet.
You need to stand out, find a niche, and be unique. You need to be the lone zebra in a stable of horses at the dude ranch. Guess which one everyone will want to ride. Be the zebra.
6) Make long-term plans, not short-term ones.
If you’ve committed yourself to something special, keep your eye on it. Make short-term adjustments, but focus on the big picture. It’s too easy to get distracted these days, so you need to be working towards long-term goals. Don’t waste energy on achieving short term goals. Everything should lead toward the end goal.
7) Work until you drop.
Once you’ve got a focus, a method, and a plan, you need to work it until you pass out. Don’t forget about your family, but do forget about long vacations, spa days, and “hanging around the house”. Tick, tock, tick, tock. You are getting older, the world is moving forward. Rest when you make it or you die.
8 ) Don’t be selfish.
You will need to give things, thoughts, and time away before you get anything in return. I’m not sure exactly why, other than people like nice people and are willing to help them in return.
Give, give, give.
9) Take your magic step.
If you will succeed, there will be one magic step only you will discover. The very nature of our world is that we cannot all have the same path, the same steps towards our dreams. You will need to take a unique step along the way, and it will be something that only you will find.
Call it magic or whatever you’d like, but you’ll need it and I can’t tell you what to look for.
It might be like the moment Bill Gates quit college to start Microsoft or when Mark Zuckerberg pushed send to share Facebook for the first time. We all have a step in life that we will need to take to achieve our dreams.
When you see yours. Take it!
Let me know if I can help.
Have a great life,
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