#IfIwere22: Don’t Settle

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#IfIwere22: Don’t Settle


When I read LinkedIn’s #IfIwere22 posts, I was inspired to share my thoughts as the number 22 has a special meaning for my family. Those who know me well often hear me say that my firm Wilsonwest is as old as my son Charlie as I founded the company just days before his arrival. That was 22 years ago.

We recently celebrated Charlie’s college graduation outside on the University of Colorado Boulder’s gorgeous campus in a torrential downpour! This was followed by just about a foot of snow. Predictably unpredictable. Just like life!

In the spirt of the #ifIwere 22 posts, here are some thoughts I have shared with Charlie upon his graduation and throughout his young life.

Don’t Settle. Take Chances. Advocate. Push beyond your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Never stop learning. Fail Often. Follow your heart. Pay attention to what brings you joy. Really pay attention to the details. Stop and smell the flowers. Carpe Diem. Repeat all of the above again and again throughout your life, with a focus on building your inner character.

I find this passage from David Brook’s recent book Road to Character to be sound words for all ages:

It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.

Hats off to all 2015 graduates and especially to my son Charlie who will soon become an elementary school teacher in Denver, Colorado – a career I trust will bring him and others great joy. Well done Charlie!

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