Close your eyes and imagine what life would be like if you woke up each day and lived life as if you had no limits? As if closing the between where you are and where you want to be was well within your reach.
The system of life keeps us “on the rails”. As we get older, we learn rules and expectations that keep us safe while we move through life's milestones. While these rules and expectations protect us, they also limit us over time.
Recently, I had the honor of speaking at Goldey-Beacom’s commencement ceremony for 2020 and 2021 graduates. When developing my speech, I asked myself what is the one thing that graduates should know as they set out on their next chapter. As I started writing, it was clear to me: rethinking life’s “limits” is a call to action that darn near everyone needs to hear.
The Outside Insights community was started to help people be the best version of themselves - the lessons are applicable to everyone, from CEOs to high-school seniors. For this week’s article and podcast, I’d like to share a few key takeaways from my commencement speech.
1- I believe that most of us don’t know ourselves very well. Living an intentional life without limits requires us to spend more time striving to understand who we are, what we stand for, and what we want out of life. And not just what we think we should want - what we really, really want. If you don’t take the time to really get to know yourself, the world is going to decide your fate for you.
2- This is a knowledge economy and we are knowledge workers. I’m a big fan of this theory. At its core, it means that fulfillment and success come from being a life-long learner. Knowledge, in all its forms, gives us confidence, expands our skills, and gives us new perspectives that we can apply to every facet of our life. There is no final destination when it comes to learning.
3- The definition of success is not one-size-fits-all. How do you define success? Is it promotions and raises? Admiration? Family? Living your soul’s purpose? The coolest part of this question can also be the most stressful: There is no right or wrong answer!
Many people strive to become successful without first understanding what will make them feel successful. Too many people get caught up in the rat race chasing the next big promotion only to feel completely unfulfilled and even depressed once they reach it. They look back and wish they would’ve spent some of those light nights enjoying a hobby or spending time with their growing family. To understand your definition of success, you need to first understand yourself (see point #1).
I hope that you feel energized after listening to the speech and motivated to redefine your limits, perhaps they are limits you didn’t realize were even there. I also hope that you understand how critically important it is to understand yourself - you’d be surprised how many people overlook this step as life rolls on. You’re always changing, take the time to get to know the person you’re growing into. If you find this message valuable, please pass the video, the podcast link, or this writing along.
And, as always, your comments and thoughts are welcomed. And remember, the Placers Act of Kindness promise still stands strong - if we can ever assist you, just let me know.
Until next time, friends.