When I saw this quote on a billboard as I stepped off an airplane in Tampa, I knew this would be a great lead in to begin my keynote speech at the graduation ceremony at DeVry University in New Jersey. Seeing all of these terrific young graduates as they were preparing to embark on their next journey and continue into the professional world was a great event for me. Most of the students that graduated already worked full time and were supporting families and many are the first in the family to attend college. Their drive and determination was apparent with everyone I met.
Here I am in this picture with my good friend, Professor and Dr. Michael Faulkner who was formerly the Senior Vice President of the Direct Marketing Association and is truly one of the most amazing and loved professors at DeVry. Having spoken at several of his classes and seeing the way he relates to all of his students and how he mentors, he is a true example for every professor to model!
As I was speaking at the graduation, I was reminded as I often am of what my wonderful father always told me growing up: "You can do anything you put your mind to–as long as you persevere, study and set and achieve your goals.’ Have a wish list, set your goals, put together an action plan and execute! Without the action, the goals are only dreams and with action, they become your realities!
Here are a few thoughts that my Dad lived by and I found them when he had passed and keep them with me constantly to strive to be like him. He applied them everyday which is why he was such a success in every part of his life.
* Listen with your inner ear
*Hear what is said with the heart, rather than only what is said with words
*Listen to the concern of others
*Know when it is important to just listen
*Communication is hard work–work at it everyday
*State your thoughts clearly and briefly
*Remember to smile, now scowl(I still hear Dad say this daily to us as we were growing up)
*Above all, be reasonable and understanding
*Be friendly and enthusiastic–and have a sense of humor
*Be human and be sure to laugh and grin!