Graduates, never stop learning to communicate

OK, OK, I’ve heard everything from my own kids before that there wasn’t enough time to read a book on how to communicate effectively. No problem. If you are an active person, there is this thing called audiobooks, so no excuses. Here we are!

First of all, let me congratulate the graduates who ceremoniously put their tassels back on and happily threw their caps in the air. Give yourself some congratulations. You graduated from high school. This is the first step on the ladder of success, and even if you choose to enroll in college or enter a trade or the military, those who have a high school education before taking a job. full time job, marriage and a family have a better chance of being successful in life.

After graduating, you have climbed the first step of the staircase to success. Give yourself the credit you deserve. And while you do that, don’t forget to thank your parents for supporting you in this endeavor, an achievement that required a goal and a way to achieve it.

It’s safe to say you had a plan and stuck to it in good times and bad times – and we’ve got them all. No one gets a pass.

And I bet that, because you were responsible for your schoolwork and studying for your tests, you were able to progress and graduate. Some of you may have had to face the challenges that life throws at us, challenges that make your accomplishment even more remarkable. Perhaps you have worked part time, volunteered, or experienced unforeseen circumstances such as illness, divorce, or even the death of a family member. But you stayed the course and graduated. It’s an accomplishment to be proud of, and now what do you do with it?

Of course, that will be up to you. The choices we make clear the way for us as we move forward. Remember to keep the same goal-oriented mindset that you had that got you to this point when you first start moving forward.

One way to do this is by knowing when to use reason or feelings or a combination of the two. Professor Gad Saad talks about it in his new book on Common Sense. Again, if you think the books are too bulky, you can go with Kindle. If you think that listening to a book will work better for you, there are all kinds of apps to help you get there. The point is, now that you’ve started to step into a world that may or may not mean higher education, it’s still important to keep reading and educating yourself.

I mean, who wants to live in their parents’ basement the rest of their life and play video games? … OK, maybe some do, but it’s not your plan. And that shouldn’t be the case if you see success in your life.

Success means different things to different people, but for our purposes, let’s say success is defined as the noble way you conduct yourself in all settings.

The tool you’ll want to have in your back pocket and handy is being able to speak with your peers, your boss, your healthcare providers, your teachers – anyone you meet – so that you can stand up for yourself. There are several reasons for this, one of which is for your own well-being and the well-being of others.

Honesty is the best way to approach situations, and learning when the best time to use your emotions or to use reasoning will help you do that. We are human beings and as such rely on feelings and logic at different times depending on different situations.

If I hit my thumb with a hammer I’m probably going to scream for missing the point, but I’m not going to stop and break down the physics behind the angle of the faulty swing or research how many nerve endings there are in a inch, because I instantly understand how much it hurts and an ice pack is immediately in order. I will learn from it and try not to start over.

Likewise, if I’m trying to build a staircase that involves a lot of angles and math, I’m probably not going to take my emotions into account. Rather, I will pay close attention to the accuracy of measurements and the science that makes a staircase work in the first place.

That’s why I recommend “Parasitic Mind” by Gad Saad. As a former college educator and someone who has participated in many discussions on this issue, knowing how to recognize reason when you see it and how to use logic to get your point across is helpful. Your life may depend on it. If you stumble on a poorly constructed staircase it will change the course of things in a very real way.

And as a new graduate, most of you will make the transition from high school, where your experience included busy daily schedules managed, in large part, by your parents, teachers, and coaches, to a world where you learn to stand up for yourself. – even and the others. It means taking greater responsibility. And that will mean knowing how to best communicate.

I really like the way one of my former students put it, “The way I defend myself is to be myself. This is a good thing to remember to help keep your feet on the ground because, as Saad points out, the ego can move the needle of truth and compromise common sense on so many levels, so be prepared and aware. of this reality so that you have the tools to deal with this situation whenever it arises.

And make no mistake, it will. Life is complicated and nuanced, not black or white, good or bad, top to bottom. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle, and anyone who tells you otherwise is being dishonest.

That’s my tip of a cent. Now here’s the last dime I’m going to shell out.

Then comes written communication. Don’t assume that just because you’re not going to college, you won’t need to have good writing skills. We are writing more than ever these days with the type of electronic communication that we use on a daily basis in our personal and professional lives. Written communication is a useful skill for just about any situation in life, from writing an email to applying for a job to requesting reimbursement. There are hundreds of possibilities, and the better your writing skills, the more effective the end result will be.

I’m not talking about becoming a poet laureate, but just real life skills to take you from step to step towards your dream.

That’s why I recommend “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and EB White. You can get it on Kindle for $ 2.54, down to pennies. Well worth the investment. It could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Everyone should have this little book and refer to it often. This is useful for getting your message across without crossing your threads.

Writing skills will be increasingly necessary and extremely valuable in a world where we rely heavily on information.

Graduates, congratulations on taking the first step. As you walk through the first doors of what it means to be an adult, it is in your best interest to learn how to communicate effectively, how best to defend yourself in a given situation, and ultimately how to take good care of yourself. – even by choosing your path.

This will give you the best chance for success, no matter which path you take to get there. After all, it’s your life, so go for it.

Bonnie J. Toomey’s stories, essays and poems have been featured in Baystateparent Magazine, New Hampshire Parents Magazine, Baystateparent Echo, Penwood Review, and Solace in a Book. She worked as an assistant at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she obtained a master’s degree in literacy. Bonnie writes about life in the 21 st century and lives in New Hampshire with her husband. Learn more at www.the deep beauty book.com/writers-2/bonnie-j-toomey.


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