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(Note: Today’s blog is dedicated to my goddaughter, Alexandra McGrath, who graduated.from UCSB yesterday. I love you, Alex!)

Congratulations to the Class of 2009 college graduates! This is an
extraordinary time that is rich with newly acquired wisdom and
knowledge out of which you can now truly begin to invent your own life.
You have now graduated to Life 101…where the real adventure is just
beginning. Here are a few insights I’ve acquired along the way that may
be useful…things I wish someone had shared with me when I was a young
college graduate.   

1.    While having your college degree is incredibly valuable, it may
or may not have anything to do with your ultimate career path. But
don’t let that concern you at all…really. Your degree is only the
first of many steps you’ll take before you figure out your real career
path. The good news, however, is that since only 28% of all Americans
have a college degree you’ll have better job opportunities and  should
earn about twice that of those without a degree…eventually.

2.    Even with your degree in hand, you will probably still have to
pay your dues before you actually begin to earn enough money to feel
like a college graduate. You can manage this for a while as long as you
learn to manage your finances carefully, keep your expenses low and
avoid going into debt.

3.    Your number one priority right now is to spread your wings and
take the time to  figure out who you are, what you love and what you’re
good at. These are the experience and skill building years of your
life…enjoy every minute of it. After all, until you know who you are,
what you love and what makes your heart sing how could you possibly
know what to do with the rest of your life?

4.    Allow yourself the next few years to experiment with different
kinds of jobs without being attached to any one of them as a “career
path.” If you happen to get lucky and find the “perfect” job or career
path…hooray! But it often takes some experimenting before you get the
right formula that works. Just show up and give your best and it will
eventually pay off.

5.    Nothing replaces hard work, integrity, honesty, and
determination. If you have these qualities, you will be noticed and
will never lack opportunities to explore.

6.    Money is an essential ingredient to making your life work with
ease and grace. However, it is best served as dessert, not the main
course.

7.    You are given this one life and you are the star, writer,
director, and producer. Whether it’s a drama, comedy, or action-packed
adventure…it’s all up to you.

8.    Everything you need is inside of you. It will take work, courage,
perseverance, and faith…in yourself and God, to find it. Ultimately,
this life is about finding the gold and the wealth that is not out
there somewhere, but that lies within you.

9.    Make it an adventure and May the Force be With You.

Peace and Blessings!

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