Dear Graduates and all others…
Keep it simple.
A life lived bereft with complication is not fun – ever.
Love yourself – you are uniquely you.
Be not afraid to experiment, make mistakes, create regrets (they will eventually become lessons) and eat the wrong things.
Find yourself some love and make it enough to give you satisfaction and to nurture your soul.
In relationships, show pride the exit signs. There is no room for self righteousness when you love someone. Lose yourself to someone else. If you do it right, you will never be lost.
Contrastingly, be selfish with that which truly makes you happy – be it a hobby, a talent or a project. Own it, devote time to it and make it the one thing in your life for which there is no compromise…unless your significant other needs you.
Love unsparingly. You don’t have to show emotion, but you do have to feel it. And for your special, better half, that emotion should never be secret – for them, you must show it – always.
Be vulnerable in those moments that require it and be strong in those that call for strength. Always, be your genuine self in those moments where life requires you to be ‘present’ and always be present in your life.
Make lifelong friends who love you despite knowing all that makes you unattractive, petty and insecure. Those who accept you with warts and all, are your soul fillers.
Sing out loud and sing out strong. Don’t worry if your song is not good enough. What the world hears is not what is playing in your ears and head. Your personal music keeps you sane.
Believe in the power of the collective universe. For some, this is God. For others, this Is faith. Believe in something bigger than yourself and surrender to it in your moments of defeat.
Do a good job, even when you hate what you do. No doubt, there will be days you will not enjoy employment and these days will clone themselves. Nonetheless, do a good job.
Keep learning. As you embark on the next chapter of your life, lessons will not be found in textbooks anymore. But the lessons are there and your world will be full of many teachers.
Find your happiness and know that it is not a state of being. Instead, it is a series of moments that allows you to experience peace, allows you to maintain focus on your goals and allows you to experience genuine love. Find it and keep it.
And as I said, keep it simple.