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Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

After 16 years of studying and testing, you finally walked across that stage. It’s such a short walk for such a long journey, but now you are a graduate. You are an adult. So… now what? The last 16 years of your life have been planned out for you; however, a short walk later, you are now in charge of the direction of the rest of your life.

Here are some tips and guidance to make the rest of your life mean something.

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1. Be intentional

You are now the primary author for your life’s adventure. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility to land on your shoulders in a matter of days. Hopefully, you have been actively preparing for this moment, especially over the previous four years, but there is no way to be completely prepared. Life is a vastly complex series of situations, circumstances, choices, decisions, and the resulting consequences. To have a fulfilling life, you must actively and intentionally pursue it and craft it. A mediocre life doesn’t require anything of you – an excellent one does.

2. Get a mentor

After graduation, you realize just how little you actually know. You don’t have it all figured out, and you certainly don’t know how to answer all of life’s questions (why else would you be reading this article?). Seek counsel. Ask for advice. Surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you are. Find at least one person with whom you can meet to talk through tough situations or decisions. Nobody is meant to handle life alone because no one person knows everything. Draw on the wisdom and experience of those around you.

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3. Make choices and stick with them

With a new world of infinite choices now at your disposal, you have to make choices with tact. However, sometimes you just have to make a decision. Wisdom does not usually come knocking at your door – you must pursue it. Experience also goes a long way (and much wisdom can be gained from poor decisions), but don’t find wisdom only at the end of your life of poor choices. Instead, make wise choices now. That being said, with all of the options in life (just look at the chip aisle!), sometimes you just need to make a decision and stick with it. Be decisive. Be persistent. Have conviction.

4. Be bold

Here’s a maxim: “Life is spelled R-I-S-K.” How about another: “Boy, I wish I had played it safe more often”, said by no one ever. You have to be risky in life. Life itself is a risk – so play along. However, don’t be stupid when it comes to risk-taking. Learn what risks are good and bad. Play life’s game like you have nothing (and everything) to lose. Do hard things. Find a job that challenges you. Take on some heavy responsibility. Life is not made full by taking the easy way out and choosing the safe options. Life is abundant outside of your comfort zone.

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5. Give everything

If you spend your life investing in yourself, when you die, the investment is completely lost. When you spend your life investing in others, that investment echoes into eternity. How you spend your time doesn’t matter as much as who you spend your time on. Let’s be honest, life is bigger than little old you. It’s best to learn that now before life slaps you clear across the room with it later.

6. Write a journal

Journaling is one of the greatest discoveries I have made in my personal life. There’s a lot that goes on inside my head, and it often gets overwhelming. When I started journaling, my head cleared up. A whole new level of focus and drive opened up in my life. Journaling brings depth – of thought, character, and purpose in life. I won’t spend any more time talking about it. Just do it. It’ll surprise you.

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Featured photo credit: Alan Light via flickr.com

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Austen Broome

Social Media/Public Relations Manager and Copywriter for Liquid Creative

Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It What To Expect During Engagement Read This If You Don’t Want To Miss Your True Love. 20 Ways Men Can Feel Fulfilled In A Relationship 8 Tactics To Make What You Say Sound Smarter And More Eloquent

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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