What An Opportunity

A Fork in the Road

In Life on May 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm


Well, Graduate, here you are. The morning of your life has ended, and the sun is now high in the sky. Congratulations on reaching the next chapter. No longer will your life be planned, laid out so nicely for you by others; now it is up to you to make your own destiny. We know you have heard this before… but it’s actually true this time. This is the beginning of the rest of your life. From today on, your life will be what you make it. You want to plant your roots down deep in your hometown? Pursue a career in the big city? Move to an obscure location and fall off the face of the earth? Why yes, you can.

Now, I won’t lie to you and say anything is possible – most of you could never be professional athletes, or brain surgeons, or famous musicians – but in reality, almost anything is possible. And that’s a pretty cool thing. Let me advise you; above all, you want your life to be satisfying. And whether or not it is remains totally up to you. Find joy in the little things – life is about relationships with the people you love, and the God who made you. Everything else flows from that, and it’s just gravy. The ironic thing about life is that the more you try to reach a higher level of happiness, the deeper you’ll sink into unhappiness. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is, today is a terrific day for you, and you should be proud and excited about your accomplishment. But the sooner you learn that life is about focusing on others, the better.

So live it up… enjoy your time with your friends, and your family – all those who made today possible. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. The world needs people who can see past their own nose, and I hope you’re one of them. Being a college graduate doesn’t make you better than anyone else, just better equipped to be a part of the solution.

Today is a great day, and a launching point for the rest of your life. Just remember, it’s a beginning, and no more. Your training is complete and now field exercises begin; your effort will determine how far you go. Work hard today, and your future self will thank you. And know that in all this, I’m talking to myself just as much as you.

I’ll be seeing you. Maybe at a reunion in 20 years. Let’s live in a way that we’ll be proud to look back on then.

  1. The question I ask then is not how do I make life great… I have heard all the cliches & I know to take my time & invest & love, laugh, live, learn & alway grow… my question is how do I decide what I want out of life? What if I want it all? Can I accomplish that?

    Thanks for sharing! I like this post & it’s part of what I need to hear.

    -beth nadine

    • I guess the best way to go is to decide what you want most, then prioritize from there, seeking to accomplish things in order. Because the harsh reality is that at some point, you’re going to have to make a choice when you have to give something up, and you should hope it’s something lower on the list.
      As far as deciding what you want most out of life, I think the secret is to be brutally honest with yourself. We often allow ourselves to be persuaded easily by others, and we even talk ourselves into things that we don’t really feel or believe. Don’t let that happen – first of all, don’t fool yourself, and secondly, if you have friends or mentors who love you enough to be honest with you, then have a raw honest talk where you talk about what you want and they give you advice. That’s what has worked for me… a lot of the time I find that things make no sense all cooped up in my head, but they have a way of sorting themselves out when I try to express them to people, and they share their opinions with my best interest in mind.
      Did I just make things more confusing for you? Hope not!

  2. Thank you for dropping by “JanBeek” and thereby introducing me to “Gentlemen of Sport.” I might not have discovered your blog otherwise, and it was a great find! I found your latest entry to be so insightful! Most especially, “the sooner you learn that life is about focusing on others, the better.” It’s such a truism – and such a life-long process! We are born as self-centered beings who have to cry to make our needs known. We have to focus on ourselves or we would perish! But, as we grow, if we are in a nurturing environment, then we are taught to seek and “Find joy in the little things” and to rely on the care of others before we can learn eventually to rely on ourselves. Then, when we are fortunate enough to learn that “life is about relationships with the people you love” and we start to be other-focused, if we really are blessed, we grow past reliance on “self and others” and we find ourselves face-to-face with “the God who made you.” How did that happen? If you had (have) a mother or father and/or grandparents who are dedicated Christians, how blessed you are! If not, someone opened your eyes to the Good News. How grateful you must be – because, yes, “Everything else flows from that, and it’s just gravy.” Mr. Gentleman of Sport, may you be floating in gravy today. God bless you for sharing your faith. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts. Keep writing!

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