You can do better. You deserve better.
I recently sent a letter to the Class of 2014 at Wake Forest University School of Law. On the chance that it might be useful to others, I post the letter here as well. I also post it in tribute to a Class that will go far.
To the Class of 2014,
Though I’ve been at Wake for four years now, you are the first graduating class with members I have known since the first day of first year orientation week. That is a special event for me and I wanted to let you know that. I also wanted to thank you for all that I’ve learned from you and for letting me watch you grow over the last three years. That has been a joy. In gratitude, I’d like to share a few things I wish I had known as I began my career. Even if you already know what I’m about to say, humor me and let me think I’m helping out. Here goes:
Life is the journey, not the destination. Read and savor Cavafy’s “Ithaca” (attached) at least once a year. Goals and destinations are ends, not journeys. When I was a child, my mother chastised me for “wishing my life away” when I wished Christmas or my birthday “would hurry up and come.” It took me many years to understand her wisdom here. For those of you who find yourself wishing that some future event (like making partner or closing your first big deal on your own) “would hurry up and come,” check yourself. Don’t wish your life away.
Life stops when the journey stops. Avoid tethers that hold you back. Avoid holding onto or seeking material possessions that hold you back. Avoid holding onto wrong ideas that hold you back. Avoid the natural tendency to over-weight loss with respect to gain–the absolute value of losing a dollar shouldn’t be more than that of gaining a dollar. Failure to realize this not only unnecessarily increases the pain of loss, it also tethers you by discouraging reasonable risk. At all costs, avoid the tether that torments and holds so many lawyers back: perfectionism.
Read the rest of Harold Lloyd’s letter at Huffingtonpost.com.