1. Remember You Can Achieve Anything
As a child, my parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams, not to place limitations on myself, as to what I could accomplish in life. I did it anyway. It's hard not to weigh one's own limitations in comparison to others' when we are compared to others everyday at home, in school and at work.
My tae kwan do master, Il K. Kim, had a motto for his school. It went like this: “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it with enthusiasm and persistence.” I remember that motto because it hit a chord with me and it has inspired me to keep going in times where I had doubts.
In a more simple sense, what one person can do, so can another. This is a maxim to live by. In this great country of freedom and opportunity, recognizing that the path to success or surviving failure, is more difficult for some than others, always remember that you can achieve anything.
2. Try Hard
You can achieve anything but, it is almost never easy. My dad always told me especially when we were fishing, and at other times, you have to persevere. Don't give up right when the going gets tough, otherwise the goal was probably not set high enough in the first place.
I tell my son try hard, no matter what. In school, athletics and in life, you have to try hard. I don't care if my son loses at soccer or gets something less than an A in class, as long as he tries hard. That is the second maxim.
3. Educate Yourself
This is a maxim for life, not just “school.” That's why graduation is called “commencement.” The world is getting smaller, more crowded and more complicated. If you stop studying, learning and growing intellectually, you don't just stagnate, you fall behind. We all know that people who have refused to learn how to use email and electronics have fallen behind. Nowadays it's almost like refusing to learn how to read. If you want to grow as a person, educate yourself. Otherwise, you will fall behind.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Look, you only have one body and one brain. You don't get a new one if this one fails. So many people nowadays don't realize until it's too late, how important our body and brain are to living. How do you get around, how do you feel, are you strong, can you endure injury, sickness. Sure, some things are out of our hands. You have the power and responsibility to take care of the tools you have, just like anything, and if you don't it will impact your life.
5. Take Care of Others
Be a positive influence. Look, we all get up in the morning, some with pain, some with heavy burdens, but it is well known that the more you dwell on the negative, the more it affects you. It is also well known that the more we give of ourselves to others, the better we feel about ourselves.
Be a positive influence. Get up in the morning and decide to be positive, not to dwell on the negative, to be kind to your family, your co-workers, the people you meet. Kind, understanding, patient and generous. Follow the golden rule and you will be rewarded.
It's always been amazing to me the rewards that come to people simply by forging positive relationships in their lives.
6. Seize the Day!
Finally and possibly most importantly, you only get one life. Live it to the fullest. Seize the day. Some ask “why,” you should ask “why not.” Will others judge you for following your dreams, for standing out, who cares?
Where does regret come from? We all know it comes significantly from not taking advantage of opportunities.
Ok, now go out and do it!