Another year…another crop of university grads prepare to unleash their magic on the world. My daughter graduated 2 years ago….as all parents know it’s a bittersweet time…it fills your heart to see the grown-up ‘kid’ ready to take it on and on the flip side it’s the final letting go. Being a M.O.M (who has learned to pick her moments) I saw this as a great opportunity to offer some unsolicited advice!
I knew I had seconds to grab her attention so ‘Tip’ our beloved pooch (pictured) , was cast as cover girl and dressed appropriately for the occasion. It had to be short (5 minutes reading time) so I boiled it down to 10 things. There was an unexpected bonus. I originally conceived this as wisdom I was passing to her but as I got into it I saw it was a review of my values and standards, examining the clarity behind them and coming to an understanding of what matters most to me. It landed up as a gift to both of us. I highly recommend writing ……A LOVE LETTER FROM MOM.
As you leave the confines of school and begin to build your life there are a few things I want to pass along. They have served me well and I hope they do the same for you. I know you will always do things your way because that’s who you are….an independent, bright, strong willed young woman. Think of this as something to fall back on.
BE A LIFELONG LEARNER – Remain curious your whole life! Never stop asking questions. Always be excited and enthusiastic about new things. Our ‘education’ continues every day there is always more to know. If help or support is offered by those who came before you graciously accept, they have something to teach you. Learn everything you can, anytime you can from anyone you can!
SUCCESS AND FAILURE ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT– Remember that success or failure is never final. Often ‘failure’ can be the best thing as it can trigger the ‘perfect’ shift in direction or thinking. Failure prepares us for success and is very necessary. How we use our failures and humbly enjoy our successes, shows what we’re made of and who we are.
BE WILLING – “Back at ya” –When I asked you 2 years ago to define a can do attitude you told me you have to be ‘willing’…willing to do what it takes, willing to work hard and willing to be brave in the face of adversity. That was an amazingly astute and simple message which I passed along to over 2500 students and educators I was working with at the time.
TAKE RISKS – If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything. Think BIG thoughts you can always create small steps to get there! Sometimes playing it safe is the way to go and other times you just have to GO FOR IT! Don’t be afraid just start, you’ll figure it out as you go! I know you’re a risk taker by nature–Keep it up!
CREATIVITY IS OFTEN CONSIDERED MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE –Your innate creativity will help you to create more opportunities than you find. No problem will be insurmountable and life will be full of surprises. Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our creativity and imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. You have a gift use it and trust it
A GREAT LIFE NEEDS MEANING – We can seek to have FUN in life but to be truly great life needs meaning. We find meaning through devoting ourselves to loving others, helping and supporting those around us and building our local and global communities. Always find ways to contribute and give. I read a quote by John Wooden (UCLA most winning basketball coach in history) that I’ve never forgotten. You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
“HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY” – that’s what Grandma always said to me. If the legacy of your life is one of honesty, you’ve lived well.
KEEP A SOFT HEART – Success in life is measured in many ways, not the least of which is the impact we have in the lives of others. Keep your heart soft and always look for ways to touch someone.
BE GRATEFUL – Understanding the importance of expressing gratitude came to me as an adult. Start early and watch your joy multiply.
LIVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART – There is only one life for each of us so chase your wildest dreams, live and love with all your heart. I love you and so proud of the person You are. Go get ’em!
reACTION [to change in the response to stimulus]: What do you want to pass along?
What do you want your kid(s) to know? Write a love letter from Mom.