5 Thoughts For Recent Grads
Just Graduated? What is next?
With graduation fever in the air, we have millions of high school and college graduates getting ready to take the next step in either their scholastic career, or professional career. I remember being so excited to graduate because it would suddenly be all up to me on how I defined my life. No longer would I have to abide by the rules of school, or go to classes, but rather I would decide what would happen! What I soon realized was the structure that I so desired to get away from way a security blanket, and I was met with an instant fear because suddenly it WAS all up to me!
With that in mind, I have put together a small list of 5 thoughts for recent grads, so that they can avoid many of the pitfalls, fears or mistakes that many will make!
1. Find Your Routine
One of the biggest changes that I felt as I got out of school and athletics was that I no longer had my routine. I had perfected my routine for 16 years of my life and now suddenly, it was gone! I knew that I would wake up, go to school, practice or play baseball, do homework, go to sleep and repeat. I knew that if I did this routine to the best of my ability, I would excel with my grades and athletics, and that I would eventually able to graduate with a degree!
Much to my surprise, as soon as I was able to make my own routine, I felt lost. I no longer had my ladder to climb and steps to take that I knew would guarantee success! I had to create my own ladder and systems to be able to thrive.
There are those days that everything you touch seems to turn to gold, your attitude and energy is on point, and life is just GOOD! I challenge you to sit down and think about what made it so great. Why was it so great? What were the set of steps that made it great? Sit down, write it out, and repeat! If we are capable of having a great day with a great mindset, we are capable of repeating that same great mindset and great day!
2. Be Authentic
One of the biggest lessons I learned upon graduating was that it is essential that I be authentic to who I am. When I first got into the training world, I looked those who were successful around me and tried to emulate their “style”. I figured that if they had clients, they must have been doing something right! What I soon realized was that emulating them felt forced and was mentally draining.
I came to a point where I thought that maybe training wasn’t for me. I had a passion for helping, inspiring and motivating people, but maybe God had a different purpose for my life. I sat down and prayed and came to the realization that I wasn’t using the tools and talents that I had been blessed with. I needed to be genuine and authentic to who I was, not a copy of someone else.
3. Bring The Energy
You can’t go wrong with bringing energy! If you can bring an authentic and positive energy to any situation, you will see the people around you lift up. There is nothing worse that being around someone who is an “energy vampire”, meaning they suck the energy and life out of you just from them being around. DON’T BE THAT PERSON!
Instead, be the person that lifts everyone up from them just being around you. I personally challenge myself to make sure that everyone is lifted up and is excited that I am around.
4. Surround Yourself With Great People
There can’t be enough said for who you surround yourself with. If you constantly are around successful people, you will more than likely pick up successful traits. If you constantly hang around people who are lethargic, unmotivated and waiting for something good to happen, more than likely you will be that way as well. My mentor, Todd Durkin, often says “Surround yourself with thoroughbreds, no donkey’s” and I love it! I try to surround myself with as many thoroughbreds in my life in possible so that way MY life is lifted up!
Along with great people, find yourself a mentor or multiple mentors! I can’t say enough for having someone that you can go to for advice and guidance when times are good and bad. We have the amazing opportunity to learn from those who have come before us. Use their gray hair and wisdom so that you can get ahead!
5. Define Your Plan
Where do you want to go? I know that is a simple question, but it is tough one! Many times, recent grads just assume they will get a job right out of college in their given field. Not always true! You need to figure out what success looks like to you, and then define your plan for success. What does the end result look like? What do you need to learn still? Who can you learn that from?
Take the time to figure out your purpose. What are you good at? What fills your soul with joy? How are you going to make an impact with your life? Having a plan, and writing it down will help give you clarity so you aren’t feel like you are just spinning your wheels. Just like you wouldn’t take a road trip across the country without a map or plan, we definitely shouldn’t do that on our journey called life!
6. Always do more than expected
I know, you are saying "Ryan, you said 5 tips, but this is your sixth!" That is right it is! The reason is, always do more than expected! Don’t just meet people’s expectations, exceed them! Whether it is in the time you spend with them, attention to detail on work you do for them, or just the intensity in which you listen… always exceed expectations! If you can become famous for being a person that goes above and beyond the call of duty, you will stand out in a crowd.
Most individuals do just enough to get by. They do what is expected and nothing more. They live by the motto of “That’s good enough”. In reality, nobody wants to be just good enough. You want to stand out. You want to be recognized. You want to have an impact. You want to have a legacy. Dare to be great.
Graduation is an amazing time for family and friends as one chapter ends and a new one begins. I encourage you to sit down and apply these ideas to your life. These are all ideas that I still do to this day, but wish I would have applied them earlier on. It is all part of the journey! Where is your journey taking you?