What advice can you give to graduates that fits on a chalkboard that past commencement speaker luminaries like Steve Jobs, Sheryl Sandburg and an array of past U.S. Presidents have not already said?! Probably the answer is nothing really! However, the chance to offer one last bit of advice and let our 2013 graduates know that I wish them well and will miss them was too tempting to pass up-so I decided to give it a shot! This year, LMU media relations asked some of us faculty and staff to participate in a photo gallery of advice for graduates. Rather than reiterate to them how to get a mentor or how to boost their future careers, I recalled something that my mama always said to me that has become such an important mantra for my family that one of my nieces even had it tattooed on her! Here it is:
“Remember: This Too Shall Pass”
This might sound a little dark but really it is just the flip side of one of our favorite LMU quotes by St. Irenaeus, “The glory of God is a person fully alive.” In other words, enjoy the highs to their fullest, be your best self and delight in all the good times.” AND realize that this joy, this high is fleeting so when it is happening don’t worry about the future or the past—just revel in delight. My mama also said drink champagne in joyful times! So do that as much as possible too! There are so many joyful times ahead so get ready to revel as this joy will pass and the next great thing will surely happen to you.
And, yes as you journey through your career and your personal life there will also be dark times with despair and suffering so deep that you think it will never end. If we really knew what was ahead of us as we walk across the stage to proudly claim our diplomas we might run all the way back to our dorm rooms and put the blankies over our head and just stay there. And yet, those dark times pass too and things always get better, or they change and then they get better. So hang in there in the dark times because this too shall pass. I think it is about being resilient.
Whether you are graduating and looking forward to your first job or you are well into your career and looking for your 25th job, remember this too shall pass. I think overall it is better to have the ups and downs then to flat line through life.
What career advice do you have for graduates or career professionals looking to make a change? Or what did your mama always say (a special thanks to my mama and Forest Gump!).