This is your day, and this is your time. But make sure you take time at some point to thank all those who have helped you along the way. You haven’t done this alone.
You’re also not done learning. Remember these ideas moving forward:
It’s hard to live a positive life with a negative attitude. An attitude may appear to be a small thing but it often makes a big difference. Eleanor Roosevelt one stated, “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”
Your attitude, dedication, motivation, and willingness to accept responsibility for your own behavior will be major factors in determining the quality of life you have. Everyone has to play the hand they are dealt, and we can assure you that everyone will experience both sunny days and rainy days. So, learn to dance in the rain.
And remember that it’s OK to fail – as evidenced by some of our most famous Americans.
Noted baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth: “If I had just tried to get a hit, I probably could have batted .600.” But The Babe always swung for the fence and retired not only as the Home Run King of his time, but also as the Strikeout King of his time.
Noted six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot … and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
He also said, “I will prepare, and someday my chance will come,” and, “If I had one hour to down a tree, I’d spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”
President Lincoln knew the importance of being prepared. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat many times throughout his life. He lost eight elections, and failed twice in business. The Lincolns had four children and only one, Robert, survived to adulthood. Many historians believe that he suffered from deep depression. He said of himself, “with the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
President Lincoln is the epitome of persistence and resilience. What if he had given up? Perhaps we wouldn’t be the United States of America, and he would be just a footnote in the pages of history, instead of being one of our greatest presidents.
There’s only one thing worse than failure and that is never trying at all. You’ll never get a hit unless you’re willing to get up to bat. You may fall down, but the important thing is to get up again. Don’t ever let the fear of failure keep you from confronting the obstacles in your life. Take President Lincoln’s advice: Prepare and someday your chance will come.