The graduation season will soon be upon us and speeches will abound. I loved my college life. It was amazing. Sports, friends, pulling all-nighters finishing term papers, the, um, “occasional” bar, and of course expanding my knowledge. I guess that’s why I enjoy coaching college students as they make their way into the workplace. I see so much potential and feel excitement for their futures.
Hindsight is always 20-20 but only if we’re paying attention to where we have been and what we have learned. Experience has the potential to be our very best teacher and hindsight plays a vital role.
That’s called “hindsight insight.”
Of course, it’s always easy to be knowledgeable after the fact. When you are 22, fresh out of school, and blazing your own trail you don’t have the benefit of all that hindsight. Those of us who have gone before can’t go back and do it again but there are a few things we’ve learned along the way that might be a little helpful. I’m not so much a “do” and “don’t” sort of person. I’m more of a “food for thought.”
Every person has to make their own way in this world, on their terms. Everyone has to make their own mistakes. I respect that. But, if there’s a way to help you ease into things just a little bit, I’m all for it.
Things I’ve Discovered Way Too Late
It’s a New Day and New Game
It just doesn’t matter if you were the star quarterback or president of your sorority. When you enter the workplace, it’s all equal footing. It’s a new day for everyone. And, if you weren’t the most popular guy around, no big deal. Your new boss and co-workers aren’t going to care.
As they say, flexible is too rigid. There will always be shifts in technology, leadership, and the workload. Things just change – a lot. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you cannot be adaptable. But, never stop learning. Understand what is happening around you and keep up to date!
Don’t Be So Offended
Learn to pick and choose the battles you want to fight. You really don’t have to be offended over every single thing. Get over it and move forward. Don’t spend negative energy on things that just don’t matter. Thing long-term. Some things that may be issues are only issues today and they won’t affect you six months from now. Spend your time on what really counts.
Your Job is Not Your Identity
Jobs will come and go. You have to live with yourself 24 hours a day so be sure you like who you are. Your first job is probably not going to be your forever job. Get your experience, do a great job, build your resume, and know when to move on. Leverage the skills you learn and parlay that into greatness.
Spend time traveling across the U.S. and overseas. Take in the fullness of life and not just life within a 15 miles radius of where you live. If you ever have the chance to live overseas, take it! Your life will never be the same. You will understand who you are, your culture, and that we are all a part of the same world. We’re in it together.
Don’t Be Ordinary
Mix it up a bit. If all weekends are the same, you’re minimizing your overall life experience. Don’t spend every weekend just going out to a dinner and movie. Take a hike in the mountains, learn to paint, go sky diving, or whatever it is you want to do. Be unique. Experiences make you.
Make Friends and Keep Friends
Life has its ups and downs. You can’t go through everything alone. There will come a day when you need to rely on your friends so make friends and keep friends. Conversely, be a good friend because they will need you, too.
You have a long road ahead of you and the more fit you are, the easier it will be.
Take a Stand When it Counts
Take a stand. Speak up when you need to do that – even if it’s not popular. Integrity should never be compromised. Respect the opinions of others but stick to your guns, especially when you know it’s the right thing.
Live Like You Are Playing Jeopardy Alone
Ever played jeopardy alone? I bet you shout out all of the answers and hold nothing back. It may be wrong but you don’t care. You just went for it. But, what happens when you are watching Jeopardy with a room full of people? Do you hold back for fear of being wrong? Do you hold back because you’re afraid of what people might think if you get it wrong? The point is, sometimes you just have to go for it and not be afraid of looking like a fool.
So, don’t be afraid to live your life like you are playing jeopardy alone – just go for it.
Understand the Power of Today
Here’s the deal: Tomorrow is going to become today.
What are you going to do today to make tomorrow the reality you want to live? The longer you keep saying “tomorrow”, the longer it will take you to reach your goals. From the moment you are born, life starts ticking away. As we age, the moments pass quickly.
You have less time now than you have ever had. Heck, you have less time now than you did an hour ago.
Confidence is a state of mind. Confidence is knowing what you bring to the table. You believe in your knowledge, skills, and the experience you have.
Confidence changes your relationships, how you communicate, your ability to meet your goals, and having a successful career. Confidence is one of our most important assets.
The good thing about confidence is that you don’t have to be born with it. You can increase it whenever you want. Learn to build your confidence in life and at work. Being confident changes things. People take notice.
And, I have to throw this one in there….
B#*tchy Resting Face Gets Old Quickly
Nobody likes it. It’s not cool. All that tells people is that you are insecure and emotionally immature. Be a part of the fun. Don’t sit on the sidelines in judgment. That won’t get you very far.
For those of you who do not know what B#*tchy Resting Face (BRF) is, here’s a great video:
After you’ve watched it, I am sure you will say “Ahh…. I know what that is. I just didn’t know it had a name.”
Over to You:
What’s your best hindsight-insight that you have to offer?
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