I have sat through no less that 20 commencement addresses in my adult life. As a Community College staff member, I attend our graduation ceremony every year. And every year I wonder if it will be something memorable to thrill and inspire, and nearly every year I am disappointed. If you are reading this and have given a commencement address I have endured, sorry. But, you could have been one of the ones I remember! I just don’t want to single anyone out by saying so…
Anyway, there is a point is saying this. I have always sat in those seats and thought that I wanted to be the one up there giving the commencement address. I work with these students day in and day out and I see a small part of the struggle they overcome to earn the right to sit in those seats and endure that address. I want to motivate and inspire them. I want to congratulate and encourage them. I want to look out into the audience and say to their friends and family members that I know “someone in this auditorium wants to be sitting in these seats as a graduate and YOU CAN DO IT.” All of the graduates have proven that if you want a goal badly enough, you can make the sacrifices to get there.
But then on the way home this year, I realized, that other than work at the the college for 17 years, I haven’t done anything worthy of delivering a commencement address. Who I am I? What have I done? How can I inspire someone?
I have had this same thought many times as I encourage students to overcome their obstacles and reach their goals. I then realize what a hypocrite I am. I have this weight struggle that I have been dealing with across the desk from them for years and have not, up until this point, made the sacrifice, set the goals, and had the determination to stick with it to get this weight off.
So I have decided that I will someday be worthy of the invitation to give a commencement address. I will have a before and after of at least 200 pounds difference to show that setting goals, finding your why, and building your support team can help you accomplish anything you set your mind to.
If you are reading this and are on the graduation committee, I will be looking forward to my invitation to speak in 2020!
What dreams are you working to make come true?