It's that time of year when advice tends to be given out as methodically as vaccinations at a boot camp. It’s time to give the graduates some advice.
I bet you remember getting all kinds of advice during your lifetime from:
"Don't go out without wearing clean underwear!" or "Never do anything you would be ashamed to have your parents find out." To "Cover your mouth when you cough." or "Learn how to laugh at yourself before laughing at someone else."
Some was simply common sense and some was obviously personal opinion but advice is something we will always be getting and often be giving.
I can think of at least three admonishments I received from others hoping to deter me from experiences they assumed would certainly be detrimental to me.
|College Graduation (Photo credit: ajagendorf25)|
2. A friend in college told me she worried my marrying my fiance would be a huge mistake because we were so opposite.
3. An acquaintance assured me I would be foolish to waste time thinking I could publish a book when I had never taken a course in journalism.
Well, I did "find" my husband in college and have had several decades of the best of my life with him while gainfully being employed in my field for over 25 years. And I did manage to get several books published in spite of the fact that I never took any of that advice.
I did however also receive wonderful advice from family and friends along the way admonishing me to “Do what I loved”, “Put God first”, “Be ethical and I would never have to second guess myself.” “Learn someone’s story before you think you know them,” and oh so much more.
One bit of advice I would pass on to graduates is to “Play with Fire” …Play with what inspires, motivates you and forces you to make a commitment and do your best. Play regularly with the ideas and dreams that consume you and continue to surface despite whatever job you do to keep food on the table.
Don’t settle for what is when you have dreams of what can be. Set aside some time regularly to involve yourself in the fire that gets your spirit revitalized; the one that makes your time worth it. Play with the fire that makes you want to be a better person when you are involved with it and especially play with the fire that causes you to want to learn more about it.
And be selective about advice. It is as important to know when to disregard the well intentioned advice as when it is to heed it. Sometimes we stop pursuing our dreams, abandon our goals or make up excuses about why we have not completed something we always wanted to do because we allowed the "voices in our head" to choose something for us we should have never delegated to anyone except maybe God.
Don’t make the mistake of giving up something your heart holds out for because someone else has determined it not in your best interest. Don't judge what you do with your life because someone else has given you advice based on their opinion. "Ear Candy" is often just something that should go in one side and out the other. Learn to be discerning about the comments from individuals and remember if you trust your plans to the Lord, you will successful.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed…Proverbs 16:3
What is the best advice you would give to this year’s graduates?
What was the best advice you never took?