I’ve written about success and what it means to me before. I’ve gone on and on about how you measure success and how you attain it, yet I’ve failed to mention to enjoy the journey. This message is for those who are unsure of what you want to do with your future, who you want to be, and how you’ll achieve it. A helpful piece of advice; it’s okay. I believe there is a plan when we do not have one. There is a talent that each of us possesses that sets us aside from the seven billion people on this earth. I believe wholeheartedly that your journey is completely different from everyone else’s for a reason. My message behind all of this is I challenge you to place yourself in an environment where your talents touch the lives of others by simply doing what you love. I challenge you to think of success as simply using your talent to touch others in ways that some cannot. I am not saying you have to sing like Whitney Houston, act like Julia Roberts, or dance like Michael Jackson; I am saying that success is measured in the positive impact you make on others instead of the positive numbers in your bank account.
I am sure some of this sounds like something read off of a fortune cookie, or seen in a classic chick flick, yet with talks of internships and jobs approaching, and maybe some of you are embarking on the beginning of your college careers, I couldn’t ignore this subject of pressure in deciding on your future. I challenge you to ask yourself one simple question. What talent do I possess that will impact someone else’s life in a positive way? The world is filled with talented singers, dancers, athletes, writers, authors, and the list goes on and on. However, I believe that you have been given a specific talent to impact others and make a difference whether you realize it or not.
America is consumed with wanting more. More technology. More cars. More…stuff. Am I saying it’s wrong to want nice things and achieve a job that pays well? Absolutely not. I think ambitions and goals are very important. According to Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School study, money can buy happiness. Now, don’t let me lose you here. Money can buy happiness to a certain extent. The study shows that $75,000 is the magic amount that makes people happy. I don’t know about you, but a college kid with a pantry full of Ramen Noodles would be perfectly fine with that salary. However, what I am saying is that I challenge you not to be lost in the midst of bank accounts, cars, new technology, and many other assets you have acquired or want to acquire in your lifetime. Instead, I challenge you to find success using your talent. To my graduating seniors, embarking on your college career is exciting, overwhelming, and terrifying all at the same time. My advice? Do not measure a major or path of study based off of what will give you the net worth to make you happy. Find the one where you use your talents to influence others. Find the one that makes you the best version of yourself. Find the one where your job will not feel like a job someday. Above all, measure your happiness with positive impact, not a positive bank account statement.