It’s graduation time again. My release date was eight years ago — gosh how time flies!
For the seniors grabbing their college diploma, it’s that weird time of life where idealism mixes with reality. The ratio of the two tends to vary with each person. On one hand, you are finally on your own, and hopefully, you’re at the doorstep of what you hope to be a career you’ve always dreamed about. On the other hand, you’re feeling the pressure of actually being on your own (now the bills all come in your name!), and may be eager to jump at the first opportunity that offers you a steady paycheck and sweet of benefits.
“Who cares if it’s not really what I want to do?” you may think to yourself. “I’ll eventually work my way into the perfect career.”
Not a bad theory, as far as it goes. But eventually, life happens. Your peers start having kids. And buying bigger houses. And doing fun things with their annual bonuses. Naturally, you follow suit, and before you know it, you’re either a living Dilbert cartoon or a heart attack waiting to happen with no easy way out. Hello, Adultitis.
Curt Rosengren of Motto magazine offers a great perspective in a recent post. He shares about his parents, who made an unconventional decision to uproot the whole family from North Dakota to Cambridge, England, so Curt’s father could study theology for a year at Cambridge University.
My parents were around 40 at the time. She made an observation that all the people in my dad’s congregation who were their age said, “What are you doing?! That’s too risky,” while the people in their sixties and seventies told them, “Now’s the time to do it, while you can.”
That surprised me. I would have thought it would be the other way around. Then it struck me that all my parents’ peers were still in the middle of career/family/etc. They were in the thick of it.
The older people, on the other hand, had more of a perspective of looking back. And there was something about that perspective that allowed them to see more clearly the benefits of “doing it while you can,” even if it was out of the ordinary and a little bit risky. They could see more clearly the risk of not squeezing all you possibly could out of life.
Interesting perspective, methinks. But here’s the money quote:
Here’s a thought to ponder. If you fast-forwarded to your 70th birthday, is there anything on your horizon right now that you would regret not pursuing?
The newly graduated will face a deluge of decisions. Many don’t seem like a big deal unless you look at things from the perspective of your future seventy-year-old self.
Chase the big dreams while you can.
P.S. And for those of you more than a few (ahem) years past graduation and right in the thick of it, don’t forget about Harland Sanders. Dude was 40 years old when he started cooking chicken, and 62 when he decided to create a little franchise business called Kentucky Fried Chicken. You’re never too old to chase your dream. Just don’t wait ’till it’s too late.
[tags]graduation, graduates, curt rosengren, motto, harland sanders, kfc, kentucky fried chicken, dreams[/tags]