Eight Steps to Boldly Send Your Graduate Into The Future
It won’t be long before strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” play through auditoriums, gymnasiums, and football stadiums, with cap-and-gown-clad students marching to receive diplomas.
If you’ve been footing the bill for a four-year (or more) college degree, you’re probably ecstatic to see your graduate cross the stage. If graduation in your house means your high school senior is finally leaving home for the first time, then you’re having mixed emotions.
Regardless of the timing, big life changes like graduation can bring us (and our kids) all sorts of uncertainties and anxieties. It’s offering new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities to our graduates. While there’s incredible potential for success, we can’t help but also understand the likelihood of bumps along the journey.
How can you best help your son or daughter embrace the latest chapter in his or her journey? How can you best support them so that they may find and know success?
Eight Steps to Boldly Send Your Graduate Into The Future
As the leader of professional sports teams, companies, and today, a non-profit foundation, I have been fortunate to work with creative, energized, and entrepreneur-minded individuals. Through the years, whenever we have encountered obstacles, they have almost always been related to lack of ideas. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to lack of confidence, thus I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking.
Parents, teachers, mentors, and youth leaders: help your students think creatively, positively, and confidently. When they face obstacles to their goals, a change in plans, a down turn in business, or a shift in the economy, they will be equipped to move forward despite their circumstances.
Help your graduates change their mindsets by embracing the following tips for success:
- Think of others first and how you can help them—and not what’s in it for you. The Bible says that we should value others above ourselves and should possess the same mindset of Jesus, who became a servant (Philippians 2). I’ve found that the same principles hold true in business, as in life. Ultimately, those whose hearts are Christ-centered and other-focused are the truly successful.
- Believe you can do it. Believing something can be done puts your mind to work for you and helps you find ways to do it. Do not sell yourself short! Believe you can find ways to pay for school or land the dream job. Believe you can succeed.
- Use common sense. A frequent mistake is trying too hard to find a solution to a problem. Often we think a problem requires a difficult solution. Look for the simple ones first.
- Stop thinking negatively. Thoughts can be controlled. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones; use the negative thought only as a cue to replace it with a positive one.
- Calm down. Many times people fail because they become so impatient they cannot think their problems through clearly. It is time then to back off and take a look at the situation. Come back to it after a period of prayer, relaxation, or perhaps even recreation. A relaxed mind may produce a quick and simple solution.
- Stay alert and tuned in. Be on guard for distractions. Ours is a distraction-heavy culture, with thousands of options for entertainment, busyness, education, and leisure bombarding us at any moment. Recognize your most vulnerable tendencies for distraction and turn them off or get them out of your immediate access. Making the transition to college or a new job means lots of new freedoms. Keep your eye on your goals, identify potential distractions, and plan accordingly.
- Forget mistakes. Dwelling on your mistakes does not change a thing. It keeps you facing in the wrong direction and wastes your time. Live for today and look forward to tomorrow; don’t allow useless baggage to hold you down.
- Open your mind to new ideas. Fixed routines can destroy initiative; they only pack your path down and make it harder. Be a lifelong learner, always receptive to new ideas.
Romans 12:2 reminds us that transformation comes when our minds are renewed. I can’t think of a better graduation gift than a renewed mind for your student, so that he or she may discover and follow God’s perfect will.
Thank you for the gift of children and the blessing of watching them grow into the people you made them to be. Help me continue to be the parent and support they need, while also learning to let go. Guide them into this new and exciting chapter of their lives. Above all else, may they always look to you for answers.
George Shinn is a self-made millionaire and active philanthropist. He is the author of The Miracle of Motivation (2013, Shinn Publishing). Visit his website at www.georgeshinn.com.
About The Miracle of Motivation
Discover how you can become everything you want to be. In this new and updated The Miracle of Motivation, multi-millionaire entrepreneur and business leader George Shinn explains that success begins with you: “With belief in yourself and faith in God, you’ll accomplish great things.” Raised by a single mother in poverty, George Shinn has lived a “rags to riches” story. Even though he had little material wealth as a child, Shinn relied on his Christian faith and self-motivation to rise above his circumstances. During his career, George Shinn has owned dozens of corporations in a variety of fields, including three professional sports teams. Today, George Shinn is a well-respected business leader, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. This revised and updated The Miracle of Motivation offers timeless yet practical tools and teaches the necessary action steps that will get you ahead in business and in life and make your dreams come true.
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