(The following excerpt from My Dream Graduation Speech by Neel Burton, M.D., recently appeared on psychologytoday.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
The education that we pay for barely prepares us for the challenges that lie ahead.
Here is what we ought to have been told at graduation instead of all the misplaced, self-congratulatory platitudes…
1. We strived to give you the best education. But what is the best education?
2. Always ask for plenty of advice, but only from people whom you admire or seek to emulate.
3. On the other hand, don’t dish out advice unless you are specifically asked.
4. Keep on asking “silly” questions.
5. Be very sensitive to your feelings and intuitions.
6. Don’t be envious.
7. Make friends with people who pull you up rather than drag you down.
8. Never get into a relationship because you are bored, lonely, or insecure, or because society expects you to.
9. The same also applies to having children.
10. Don’t expect to find perfect love, perfect virtue, or perfect wisdom in this world.
11. Given the choice between laughing and crying, go with laughing.
12. All of the above requires a great deal of self-confidence.
13. Never be afraid.
14. If you don’t appear to want something, you are far more likely to get it.
15. Never get angry.
16. Man is both a product and a victim of the world which he inhabits.
17. Find whatever it is that you love doing and get on with it, regardless of what other people might think.
18. Avoid working for other people or, worse, faceless corporations.
19. Think long term and have a lot of patience.
20. When you do find success or, better still, happiness, don’t expect anyone to be pleased for you.
21. Unless your work is your passion, you work so as to live and not vice versa.