Success 101 for Grads

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 25, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Success 101 for Grads


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

CNN anchorman Anderson Cooper, in his address to graduates at Yale recently, made some excellent points. However, he forgot to mention success comes as we apply certain principals to our lives. Here are some key points you may not have learned in a college classroom but which are necessary for anyone's success:

(1) Find your own path: Each person is born with a unique character. In the same way, the path toward each individual's success is unique as well. Find your own path and follow it. Listen to your intuition and realize your natural gifts. Don't let anyone's concept of who they think you are limit you. Single-minded focus, hard work and unchanging determination will get you further faster than your title as a "college graduate." When your heart says do it, just do it.

(2) Keep believing in your dreams; never give up: So many great people have gone through such unbelievable difficulty or loss. Read any presidential biography. When things were tough and they couldn't see their way out of a dark situation, they just put one foot in front of the other. If you hit a brick wall, look for three alternatives; go under over or around but don't give up. This is especially true when looking for a job.

(3) No concepts, no limitations: We have a tendency to put everything into neat little boxes and not step outside our comfort zone. Success is often developed outside the box. Look at Albert Einstein, Bill Gates or Mother Theresa. They challenged the norm and the impossible became possible. Try to challenge your limitations every day. It's the fastest way to grow.

(4) Take responsibility for your actions, words, time and life: Don't make excuses. Instead of justifying bad behavior, humbly apologize when you're wrong. This will win the trust of everyone. When you are going to be late, call and let people know. When you promise something, keep your promises. Integrity speaks volumes, irresponsibility speaks even louder. Become a respected individual. If you have lost your integrity, you have lost everything. Never take that which does not belong to you. Misuse of public money has destroyed many a career.

(5) Empowering others' success will empower you: Each person you meet has something of value to share. Look for the good points in those with whom you work and help them become successful. Becoming a team player will help others realize you are a natural leader. Be sincere and always give credit where credit is due. Treat others with respect, even if they treat you like dirt. Unseen eyes may be watching and good behavior never goes unrecognized for long.

(6) Develop the right attitude: You worked hard for your education. But who provided you with everything else, including the ability to walk, talk, see, breathe and work?

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