May 16, 2017 at 7:38 am, by Carl

My daughter, Logan graduated from Denison University on Saturday.  Hard to believe that the conclusion has come, but now she is out into the real world.  The concept of adulting is now her challenge.  I know she will do it well.  Of course she has many choices and decisions ahead of her, but we all do.  First, she needs to celebrate.


Celebrating a win is a vital thing.  Winning is contagious, but it can be hard to catch if we don’t really take the time to celebrate.  For most of us, the task we undertake involves challenge and hard work.  So, when you accomplish completion, you should take time to enjoy the moment.  Graduations are a part of that moment…pomp and circumstance, flowers and presents, photographs and big smiles.


Celebrating is key…but you can’t get stuck there.  You can’t just stop moving.  Life doesn’t stop…neither can you.  Its time then to move to the next thing.  In Logan’s case, after moving home and getting some good rest, it will be time to start looking for her next move.  She will.  She’s got a plan and is eager to work it.  That’s important.  Far too often we get lost, either in idle stumbling or perhaps worse, just stuck in “the now” of life…and usually a life we don’t really enjoy.


So, out she will go.  Out into the real world.  Its scary…or it is for Daddy…but she’s ready.   She’s very bright.  Better, she is a good person.  She invests in others, even when they don’t return the love.  She is aware of the outcast and the lonely, and thus reaches out to share life with that person.  Boy, is that in short supply in the world today.  Want to make a difference out in the real world?  Start to notice “the other” in the world around you.


She will face challenges, set-backs, disappointments.  I know I have.  Everyone I know has.  Sometimes the disappointment comes in the work world.  Other times is in personal relationships.  Or times of great loss.  The storms will come.  The question is not “if they will come” but rather how you will respond on the other side.  There is a victory in knowing that while life is hard, you keep showing up.  Putting in your best work, bringing all of yourself to the task.


As she goes, she will need to always remember that being a person of excellence is rare.  Far too many come with expectations, thinking someone owes them something.  Or, if they don’t really believe someone owes them…they still act entitled, unwilling to engage in the work or be a decent person.  Logan does both—work hard at the task and is a decent person.  She learns her lines.  She shows up on time.  She keeps a smile on her face even if others are missing, late, lazy or unproductive.


Lastly, she knows that she needs community.  History teaches us so many lessons; one of the most vital is that rare is the success that happens in full isolation.  Yes, I know, that many great inventors did so alone.  That’s not what I am talking about here.  I don’t mean the success of an isolated savant, but instead that to Live Well we need others.  I was speaking just today with one of my peers at Valencia, and unprompted, she reinforced this lesson….she said that she was teaching her college-aged daughter that it is the relationships you make along the way, the community you invest in, that will be key in being successful “out in the real world.”


My friend is right.


Logan knows that too.  I am so proud of you, and excited to see the next steps that unfold before you.


Congratulations my sweet girl!