You will get a lot of these notes over the next few weeks:
Make the world a better place.
Live life with no regrets.
Chase your dreams.
It seems like yesterday to your parents when they dropped you off at Kindergarten for the first time. They wiped tears from their eyes as this little person walked through this big door. Since that day you attended school about 2,340 times. You learned. You made friends. You have been hurt. You have been mentored. Some days it was lots of fun. Some days it wasn’t much fun at all. Your parents will watch you graduate soon. The same teary eyes that dropped you off at Kindergarten thirteen years ago will surely well-up as you walk across the stage.
I want to tell you some things I wish somebody would have told me twenty-some years ago when I graduated from high school. Some I learned from observation. Some I learned the hard way.
Fail often and fail well. Failure is a necessary step to success and significance. Failure teaches courage, wisdom, humility, and perseverance like only failure can. I don’t want you to get to the end of your days wondering what might have been if you had only taken a risk, but didn’t, because of the fear of failure. Today’s failures lay the foundation for tomorrow’s dreams.
Don’t forget to play. People will tell you to study hard when you go to college and work hard when you get a job. I agree. But I want you to hear this: Don’t forget to play. My best memories in life are not sitting in front of my computer writing my dissertation or leading meetings. My best memories are playing in a lake, exploring the world, and hanging out with friends and family.
Love people and not possessions. Stuff can give you happiness for a while. People will give you joy and contentment for a lifetime. Spend much of your time, energy, and resources investing in people rather than acquiring things. You are designed to live in community with others and with God—not with stuff.
Have faith. Some things in life can be proven. Light travels faster than sound. The moon doesn’t shine its own light. But the most important things in life can’t be proven. We can’t prove a friend is really a friend or that forgiveness is better than revenge or that love is better than hate or that God is who God says God is. That is where faith comes in. Have faith in self, others, and God. You’ll need it because the most important things can’t be proven.