If you are a graduate celebrating this month or next, you have a lot to be proud of. You put in a lot of work to make it to the end. Congratulations! You should feel great. In fact, you should feel powerful. The power of this year’s graduating class is unconventional.
Power is traditionally associated with superiority, authority, title, position, and control. But in my view, this association is perhaps one of the biggest problems—and opportunities—we have today. Too many people are looking for the easy way out by asking others for answers to important questions when they should instead own the responsibility to take their own position.
I believe power is a choice available to everyone. My definition of power differs from conventional thought and aligns with what power really is today. To me power is clarity, influence, energy, confidence, and impact.
- Increasing discipline leads to increased clarity.
- Increasing support for others leads to more influence.
- Increasing insight and self-understanding leads to improved energy.
- Increasing alignment with your values leads to higher confidence.
- Increasing alignment of your creativity choices makes a bigger impact.
Members of the class of 2018 understand what real power is. And more importantly, whether you are a high school or college grad, increasingly you are using your power to effect change.
College campuses in the United States have long been places where individuals have challenged conventional power centers. More recently, high school students have joined the fight to challenge the status quo. My hope is that you keep it up. We need your clarity and energy to make us all better.
As you celebrate your accomplishments, remember to thank those who taught you what real power is. And wherever you go from here, please pay it forward.
The rest of us need you to be powerful.
Congrats to the graduating class of 2018!