I attended a high school graduation and the Keynote speaker gave a rather blunt but influential address . The major point of the address was that as children, there were always people surrounding the graduates to make the graduates happy. She then said that now that you are graduates , they are responsible for their own happiness. It’s not your parent’s responsibility, it’s not your teachers’ responsibility, and it’s not your boss’ responsibility. It is totally your responsibility.
The other topic of importance was some comments about work ethic. The Keynote speaker said to the graduating class that for every job they apply for, there will be hundreds of applications. That in order to succeed , they have to set themselves above the rest of the crowd. To do so, she said:
- Don’t just be on time to work. Be early to work .
- When your boss needs someone to stay after work to finish a project, you be the one that volunteers
- When you are in a college class , sit in the front row and show your professors you care about your education
- If your lab needs cleaning up after class, be the one that stays to clean up .
This will show employers that they can count on you and will be comfortable to give you a good recommendation or promotion.
The speaker went on to say that most people are minimalists. They do the absolute bare minimum of what is required . You need to be a maximalists. Go beyond requirements . Do each job to the best of your ability. Knowing you have done a good job makes you feel good inside and will result in happiness . Do not connect happiness to money. Try to do something you love.
Often as parents, we tend to want to shelter our kids and try to keep them happy. When they are adults, they are not under momma’s wing and have to live for themselves. Let’s show them to be independent, let’s demonstrate for them to do their best and never to accept the minimum. There is an intrinsic good feeling of doing a good job. Let’s demonstrate this to our children early in their lives. This was an inspirational keynote speech, but I think these should be taught at a much earlier age. As parents, we need to gradually let our children learn lessons of the intrinsic feelings of a job well done. Parents have to give constructive criticism and tell/ask their children:
- You could have done a much better job
- What would you do next time to improve your result ?
- Is this the best you can do ? (As a parent, you will be able to tell when your children do their best )
This will help them be a productive and happy member of the community . If our young adults know that happiness is in their hands, the ability to become happy is in their control. Control of your own happiness is a very powerful tool and helps people reach happiness.