My Annual Words of Wit, Wisdom, Sarcasm and Good Sense for Graduates.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

This is my annual advice, suggestions, wit and wisdom for the, soon to be released on the world, graduates. If they can learn from an old-timer, they can learn from anyone. So, let's get to it. 

My Annual Words of Wit, Wisdom, Sarcasm and Good Sense for Graduates.

It's graduation time, and students all over the United States will be walking the final leg of one of their greatest accomplishments.  But, it's really only the end of the beginning.  School, whether it is high school or college is really a time of incubation.  During that time, material, much like breakfast, lunch and dinner is fed to students.  They can choose to consume it, or they can skip a meal here and there, but regardless, the meals are on the table.  The amount of nutrition derived from those meals will be determined by the nutritional content of the offerings. 

Not all food is worthy to be consumed.  Our national obesity challenge is evidence that there is a lot of low quality nutrition out there.  Those who recognize that and choose to seek out more nutritious food groups feel better, tend to be more healthy and may even live longer.  It's all about the quality of the food consumed. 

The same is true of academics.  Not all academics are nutritious.  Some teachers and professors wow their students with their great knowledge and insight.  They have an inner drive to see the students succeed and to become productive citizens of the world.  Others, have a personal agenda that is played out in the classroom day after day.  In their immaturity, some students may not be able to see the difference, but their next steps in life will reveal what type of academic meals they've consumed.

My advice to this graduating class is this:

  • Realize that your parents may be the only ones in life that think you're really special.  You will have to earn your own way with the rest of us.  There are no trophies for showing up in the game of life.
  • Don't assume the world owes you anything.  It doesn't, but that's OK.  That's how it is for all of us.
  • No matter how you grew up, the only limits on you will be the ones you impose.  Once you cross that threshold into adulthood, it's time to start taking responsibility for what your life will be.  A lot of us grew up in less than ideal situations.  It happens.  Some of us had horrific childhoods.  They were psychological nightmares.  Some of us had amazing childhoods.  Regardless of which childhood you had, you have a choice to walk away from the pains of the past or to let them dictate your future.  Your ability to have an amazing life really is within the choices you will make.
  • Your ability to succeed has nothing to do with your race, sex, religion, fiscal condition or nationality.  You can choose to blame those things for your struggles, or you can face your struggles head on and overcome them.
  • Wisdom is the effective use of knowledge.  You will gain it over time, but wisdom is something that only comes with time. You may not start out at the top of your profession.  That's to protect the rest of us because you're not ready to be at the top.  You need experience.  With your daily experience will come greater knowledge and seasoned wisdom.  Everyone pays his dues.  Pay them gladly, and over time, you will be at the top of your profession.
  • If you are willing to settle for anything, settle for 100% effort from yourself.  Some employers will see it and reward you for it.  Other employers will ignore it.  Regardless, a life of 100% effort gets rewarded in high self-esteem, a sense of a healthy pride and eventually the role that you want to play. If you have an employer that doesn't appreciate you, learn everything you can while you're there and then take that experience and knowledge on to the next job with a great employer.  You may have to go through two or three before you find that perfect job, but it's out there.  Practice giving 100% even when it's hard.
  • There will always be people along the way who will be willing to help you.  Pay attention so you don't miss them.  They may come from some unfamiliar sources, but they're out there.  Appreciate them, glean their wisdom and experience and then pass it on to another in their time of need. 
  • Limit your exposure to people who only take from you.  There are two types of people in the world: takers and givers.  Takers seldom give, and givers seldom take.  You need to keep the ratio of takers and givers way out of balance on the givers side.  Then, you'll have the strength to potentially help a few takers, but don't be afraid to cut them loose either.
  • If you have a dream, hold on to it.  Let it be the motivating force behind every step you take.  Don't let your dreams go just because it doesn't happen overnight.  Remember wisdom comes with knowledge.  Those weeks, months or years leading up to the fulfillment of your dreams are your training time.  Appreciate them for what they bring to your life experience.
  • Have fun along the way.  Being motivated to accomplish something can be all consuming.  Don't miss out on the fun in life.  Have fun.  Be a faithful friend.  Honor your parents.  Lift up the weary.  Find an outlet for your energies that are not work related.  Fill your mind with healthy thoughts and ideas.  Learn to relax and play.  Take a day off.  Eat nutritious food and sleep a good night's sleep.  Take care of your body.  You're no good to yourself, your employer/employees or your dreams if you adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. 
  • Listen to your conscience.  Your conscience is the voice of your soul.  Some may call it your gut, but no matter, listen to it.  It will try to direct you into right decisions and productive paths.  Every opportunity may not be right for you.  Always allow time before making major decisions.  It may only be minutes, but allow time for your conscience to speak to you. 
  • Forget about safe rooms, safe words, coloring books and playdoh. Your employer is not going to provide those, and unless you plan on spending your next decade in your parent's basement, grow up and get a spine. The world is a rough and tumble place. If your college taught you otherwise, they did you a great disservice. You can navigate it with a little effort, but you've got to be in it to navigate it. Get out there and change the world.
  • Do something that benefits others.  One of the greatest joys you will have in life is doing things that benefit others who have no way of repaying you.  Humble yourself and reach out to those who need you. 

It's time to launch out into the real world.  The academic environment really isn't the real world.  It's just the incubator you are hatched from.  Look back on it realistically and take the good, leave the bad and do something that inspires the world. 

My Annual Words of Wit, Wisdom, Sarcasm and Good Sense for Graduates.


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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Those are absolutely wonderful tips and wisdom for graduates.  I can't believe this school year is already drawing to a close!

May 04, 2017 03:15 PM #1
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Mike - This is excellent advice for everyone, not just recent graduates. Very nicely done!

May 04, 2017 03:52 PM #2
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Mike.  When the students get their first taste of life after school, it is a real wake up call.  Some get it and adapt others not so much

May 05, 2017 02:27 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- this is advice we could copy and tape to our mirrors to view daily!!!  Love this and sending it to our young friend about to graduate and head to Villanova!

May 05, 2017 08:31 AM #4
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Mike --- a uh-huh moment for sure.   

May 06, 2017 07:51 AM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                          Thank you  Mike Cooper 

May 06, 2017 05:46 PM #6
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm so glad Kathy shared this. What wisdom you have here....all grads should read this and take your words very seriously!

May 07, 2017 08:10 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Mike

So glad that this was brought to everyone's attention. Wise words for everyone, and not just this year's graduates!

Enjoy your Sunday!


May 07, 2017 08:11 AM #8
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Awesome info for the young and not so young.

May 07, 2017 11:54 AM #9
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Mike - I really hope the students heed this.  Unfortunately some have been feed an agenda diet for so long.

May 07, 2017 12:12 PM #10
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Excellent advice, Mike.  But I fear that it will fall on many deaf ears, given the "Snowflake" indoctrination of the current generation.   They may have to learn it the hard way!

May 07, 2017 12:49 PM #11
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Great advice worth reading by any young person.

May 07, 2017 04:11 PM #12
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

As the major employers are not really adding lots of jobs for entry level college grads the college grads may need to take their time  getting their feet into the door. Often past internship experience really helps.  Unfortunately, the social media companies tend to overpay their intern 80-90K a year with perks are often given to college students. Now the entry level techies are demanding 100,000+ to start. 

May 07, 2017 08:01 PM #13
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is exactly what a graduation speaker should say. Excellent tips.

May 08, 2017 10:11 AM #14
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Good list.  I hope many of your younger acquaintences will listen and take heed of your words.  I have learned these as a matter of living life.  Some were self-evident but I am amazed at how younger people miss so much of this.

May 08, 2017 07:19 PM #15
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Mike Cooper ~ awesome post! It is always so nice and helpful to read positive information. I especially think a lot of folks need to think about "assuming the world owes us." I feel there are way too many people running around feeling entitled "and that's the furthest thing from the truth!" 

May 09, 2017 01:30 PM #16
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