Graduation season is here. I don’t know about you, but I love commencements and the opportunity they provide to both reflect on the past and look with hope and excitement (and yes, sometimes a bit of nervous anticipation) toward the future. The great thing is it doesn’t even have to be your own graduation! You can just use it as a reminder to create the space (and time) to reflect on where you’ve been in the past year, what you’ve learned, how you’ve contributed, experiences gathered, and relationships built and nurtured.
Graduation finds those who have played a part in our journey celebrating as we earn a diploma and get to move the tassel over—the ritual announcing our achievement. We can’t help looking back, appreciating how we got here, and thinking about what’s next. Hopefully, we’ll also be filled with enthusiasm, inspiration, and the knowledge that we’ll craft a fulfilling, purpose-filled(and happy!) life.
No matter how long it’s been since your graduation, use this time of year to create your own personal commencement. Set aside a time and place for thoughtful reflection on where you are now and what you are transitioning from and to. How have you moved toward your chosen goals and dreams this year? Celebrate those successes and include all who have been a part of making them happen.
As you begin to move forward (after all, commencement means beginning), how well do these goals reflect who you are and what you want in your life? Perhaps they did fit you well once, or maybe they were never really your dreams (and yours are waiting just inside you). Either way, give yourself permission to choose the ones that truly inspire you to take action, resonate with you, and reflect who you are.
As a Turkish saying suggests, “No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, turn back.” If you find the path you’ve been on is not right for you, this might be the perfect time to look for the one that is, and to start walking toward it. Do this thoughtfully and use the resources that will help you choose well (e.g., a career professional or quality books and workshops), but do start. Create your new beginning. Happy Commencement!