In the past two months, I attended quite a few graduation ceremonies and celebrations. While sitting at one college graduation, I witnessed people graduating from college for the first time with their bachelor’s degrees. In the same ceremony, I witnessed people graduate with advanced degrees… masters and doctorates. I sat and reflected on the dreams sitting in that room. I wondered how the graduates thought their lives would magically change because of the new pieces of paper they had to hang on their walls.
It provoked me to think about the word commencement. Commencement means “a beginning or start”. The “feel” of graduation is one of anticipation. It evokes a sense of celebration. There are only a handful of events in life that evoke such a celebration… graduations, weddings, baby births (especially the “first” baby), perhaps promotions. When thinking about these celebrations, I wondered why we would wait until one of these special events in life to “begin”.
Each day when we wake up, we have the opportunity to start over. We have the opportunity to begin the day a bit differently with our family members in our homes. We have the opportunity to begin the day differently with our colleagues. We have the opportunity to be a better leader. We don’t have to live our lives on autopilot. Switch gears and aim to be better each day.
What will you do differently this week to be better?
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.