So you just graduated and you don’t have a dream…
“You just graduated! What’s next??” said every person ever.
…what’s next? What’s next? Umm, this Chipotle. Then this Netflix.
Ohhh haha you meant with my life? So yeaaa…same answer.
You know what… let’s backup. Yes, I am graduating. Like a champ. Billions never graduate, but I will. Thank you for just celebrating this special moment, and not mentioning the daunting uncertainty that is post-grad life.
Guess what: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S NEXT. This hilarious GPA sure isn’t helping and no, I don’t have a “dream”. You tell me what to do, Mr. Know-It-All Chipotle Guy.
They tell us to follow our dreams. Then they show us inspiring stories of those who did. Those who went on to create incredible super-human things for this world. Those who give everything for their dream. They are happy, and free, and alive.
But what if we haven’t found our dream? Or even worse — what if we don’t even have a dream?
…This is how I felt when I graduated. With no plan and no dream, I was lost. Absolutely lost. But as this wonderful crazy life would have it, my path cleared and my dream woke up.
And now, since you’re graduating…I thought I’d share 3 things that have drastically changed my life since diploma day. Maybe they’ll help you awaken your dream:
- Chase feelings, not money. Our dreams are hidden in the feelings we have when we’re most awake. Sure, a paycheck is great. But helping a hospitalized child smile is…sublime. When we feel love and compassion and life, we are closest to our dreams. So, what makes you feel the most alive? What can you talk about for hours? Chase that.
- Volunteer. The big dream — the real meaning of life — will not come from comfort. The big dream will come from throwing yourself next to the sick or the hungry, the poor or the isolated. The big dream will begin inside their struggle or sadness, because then you’ll feel it. And in that instant, your life will become about their life and boom… you’ve just found real, boundless happiness. So stand next to those who are suffering, and look for that spark. It’s brightest in the dark.
- Talk big about what you believe. Have you ever heard Ghandi discuss the stock market? Me neither. He talked big — of peace, and respect, and love. He didn’t allow the world to push him down into the meaningless details. The reality is that our dreams don’t live in the dirt, but rather in the highest values of humanity. If we want to awaken our dreams, we must also talk big…about what we value, care about, and believe. By sharing our deepest self with others, we bring our dreams to the forefront of our lives. We make them…real. Plus, we give ourselves the priceless possibility of finding others who also believe what we believe.
When I watched my Grandfather die, I realized that life is actually really short.
We have one chance. And it’s our dreams that make this chance mean something, for us and for those we help.
You graduated. You have a dream. And it’s about to wake up.
For happier Mondays + to help hospitalized children feel better, check out The Monday Life.