Monday, May 20, 2013

A Open Letter to the 2013 Graduates

Dear Graduates,

Over the years, I have spoken at numerous baccalaureate and commencement exercises. The following is my annual post to you, the graduates. 

When I went off to school to attend Auburn University, a lot of people would ask me: “Kelvin, what are you going to major in?” Personally, I knew that I was going to major in something that dealt with the study of people, it was either going to be history or psychology. I decided to major in history. Now, since I have been in the work world for more than 25 years, I often am asked why I would major in history. For me the answer is quite simple. I decided to major in history because I wanted to study what makes great people, great.
The purpose of this post is to show you how to Define Your Destiny. If you want to Define Your Destiny, you must possess the following characteristics:
Desire. Bestselling author, Napoleon Hill, wrote that “Desire is step one to all achievement. Not a wish. Not a want but a keen pulsating desire.” So, no matter what you want out of live, I have one crucial question for you: How bad do you want it?
Vision. Where do you see yourself one year from now? Where do you see yourself five years from now? What about 10 years from now? In order to Define Your Destiny, you must be able to answer these questions. For we know Scripture that says, “The people shall perish for lack of vision.”
Education. Your education should not end simply because you have your diploma or degree in hand. Become a life-long learner, whether in the classroom or of the world.
Relationships. Not everyone belongs on your bus. This is one of life’s most simple truths, when you “get it,” you are on your way. That is why you must surround yourself with people who have your best interest at hand. My favorite Bible verse, and I say it just about everywhere that I go, is Proverbs 13:20 which says, “He who walks with wise me shall be wise but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
Talent. You were born with a gift but it is up to you discover just what that gift is. There is “one” thing that you can uniquely do better than anyone on this earth. I once read that your talent is a gift to you from God. What you do with that talent is your gift back to Him.
Congratulations! You have done well but your journey has just begun, so go out and Define Your Destiny!
Kelvin A. Redd

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