I graduated high school in 2003 and college in 2008. I’ve grown a lot since both of those experiences. If I could meet with any high school or college graduate, this is the advice I would give them now that they are moving onto the next season of their lives:
1.) Live for God – This is my advice for everyone on the planet. Mark Batterson said, ”When you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, you never know who you’ll meet, where you’ll go, or what you’ll do. But one thing is certain: it’ll be anything but boring!” I could not agree more. The most exciting life you can live is one lived for God.
2.) Develop a Plan for Personal Growth – If I met with you one on one and you asked me for one piece of advice (outside of living for God), I would tell you to develop a plan for personal growth. Determine that you will be a lifelong learner. Read as many books as you can, listen to as many podcasts as you can, get as much education as you can, meet with as many people as you can, attend as many events as you can, and have as many experiences as you can!
3.) Serve Somewhere – Find a purpose bigger than yourself and find a way to serve there! Serve at your church or a local non-profit. Develop the habit of giving your time now.
4.) Network, Network, Network – Meet as many people as you can! Network as much you can! Find ways to add value to the people you meet. You never know when one connection you make will change your life forever.
5.) Get the Best Mentors You Can – Mentors have the ability to take your further faster. Find as many mentors as you can! You will need mentors in every area of your life! Find mentors for your spiritual life, financial life, relational life, career path, and any other area you need wisdom. I have an entire podcast episode that will walk you through my process for getting mentors. Listen to it here.
7.) Become What You Want to Attract – Everybody wants to be successful, to attract a great spouse, to make a lot of money, to make a difference, to have great friendships, to ______. The question is not whether or not you desire those things. The question is, are you becoming the person you need to be in order to attract those things. You will only attract who you are, not what you want.
8.) Get as Many Experiences as You Can – Do not think you must have your entire life planned out. You don’t. In your teens and twenties, you need to be constantly discovering who you are, what your strengths are, how to work with people, what you like, what you don’t like, what you want to do, what you don’t want to do. You’ll only discover those things through having a lot of experiences. Take on more responsibilities at work, join a young professional board, serve in a church, go to networking events, and try different jobs! What you do in your twenties should set a solid foundation for your 30’s and 40’s.
9.) Travel – See the world. It will change your life.
10.) Dream Big and Go for It – My father-in-law always tells me this! He’s right! You are a world changer! Go out and change the world and don’t let anybody or anything hold you back!
11.) Pick Yourself – If you’re going to be a world changer, there will be people lining up to tell you that you’re crazy, that it can’t be done, and that you should quit. Don’t. Pick yourself. Read this post by Seth Godin.
12.) Learn to Love Feedback – There is not a person on the planet that does not need feedback. If you want to grow to your maximum potential, don’t wait to get feedback, ask for it! Ask your bosses, leaders, and mentors to speak into your life. They may tell you things that sting, but if you’ll be humble, listen, and do something about what they are telling you, it will change your life forever.
13.) Learn Everything You Can about Yourself – The more self-aware you are, the better things will go for you. Learn your strengths and weaknesses, learn how you relate to others, learn how others react to you, and learn what wounds you have from the past and deal with them.
14.) Meet with a Financial Planner and Learn How to Handle Your Money NOW – This is extremely important. You don’t have to be the next Warren Buffet, but you need to become wise with your finances. I recommend going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University curriculum. It’ll change your life. Then, schedule a meeting with a financial planner and have him or her help you with a plan for your finances.
15.) Work Hard and Learn How to be as Productive as Possible – In order to succeed in life, you are going to have to work hard and work smart. Go to work 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes late. Spend your time at work actually working. Become a student of productivity. Read Eat that Frog and apply the principles. See what happens in your career.
16.) Get in Shape – Make fitness and good nutrition a priority and a habit and it will serve you the rest of your life.
17.) Trust God – Ultimately, you will have ups and downs in life. Just keep following and trusting God. He knows what He is doing, even when you can’t see it!
What advice stuck out the most to you?
If you’ve graduated, what advice would you give a graduate?
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