Monday, June 4, 2012


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
College Graduation (Photo credit: ajagendorf25)
 1. A business acquaintance of my parents told me going to college would be a waste of money as women seldom pursued their careers for long and usually just went to college to find a future husband.
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.
English: A picture of fire

 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?

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  1. DO play with fire! Good advice for anyone, not just new graduates.
    Find your passion and torch the world! Sounds like you have done just that!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Debra. Yes, I think we all need to play more (especially with anything that stirs a fire in us.) Thanks for your comment.

  2. I think I would tell them to be true to themselves and to lean on God, not their own understanding. He is the one who has put their true passions (the fire) within them and wants them to pursue those in order to have an abundant and fulfilling life. So glad, after many years of excuses, I found my fire!:)
    Blessings, Kathy!

    1. Martha,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. You are right. God gives us the gifts and we should pursue what talents we have to make life more meaningful and blessed.
      So glad to see you have done just that.

  3. Replies
    1. Why thanks for stopping by, JANU, hope you will be back!

  4. My only advice would be to listen to their intuition. It can't guide them wrong. Stay positive and look ahead

    1. Nikky, Thanks for stopping by. I so agree they need to stay positive and realize their gut intuition is often there best move.

  5. I like "go with your gut" advice. But with the caveat that it's good to educate your gut. :)

    There are SO many "experts" out there telling people how to do everything. Some advice is good, some advice is terrible, and some is a little bit of both. Learn to research, but in the end, make your own conclusions as to what is best for you and those you love.

    (Found you via SheWrites!)

  6. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, we must educate the gut we are "going" with I so agree. Research and investigating are parts of an informed choice.
    So happy to have another SheWriter here. COME BACK visit more often!!

  7. The best advice has been to get out of my own way and let God lead my life. Challenge myself to go for big dreams rather than take what is easy and effortless. I just read a quote that said "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." I think that's good advice.

    Most of the bad advice I've gotten has started with the words, "Don't or Be careful..."

    1. Oh, yes, Lynne, I have been the victim of the "Don't and Be Careful" advice as well. I so agree if we just trust our plans to God and don't try to over analyze, He has big big things in store for all of us.
      Thanks for dropping by!