The Three Big C's
Advice To Graduates and Others Who Wish to Thrive!
June 1, 2023 | View PDF
Congratulations to all the High School and College graduates! On behalf of all of us in the cities, towns and communities across Alabama, we honor your accomplishments, and we are proud of each of you!
No doubt all of you have been blessed, encouraged and challenged by some great Baccalaureate Addresses and Commencement Speeches. But, may I add my three cheers and offer “Three Big C’s” to think about as you step out into your next season of life? This advice also applies to all who wish to thrive in life and work. I’ll keep it short and give you the Cliff-notes version.... I promise.
As you move from this point forward either to college or the working world or just seek to thrive in life and work, these three practical things will serve you well. And, I guarantee you that every future employer, professional co-worker and/or professor will be looking for these three C’s in you!
Be a person of character!
“Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your
love, faith and purity.” - Paul, 1 Timothy 4:12
“The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.” - Socrates
Character is who you are when no one is looking, someone once said. Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what/who we really are. Your character determines the kind of name you will make for yourself. Will you keep your word? Will you do what you say? Will you keep confidence? Will you be on time?
It’s simple really. Do what you say you’re going to do. Stand up for what you believe. Be a person people can trust. If people trust your character, they will trust you! Period! If you break that trust, it’s very, very hard to get it back!
Guard your character and protect it at all costs. Be careful of where you go, who you hang with, words you use, photos and videos you take and share, what you post and share on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and any other social media. Believe me, your potential future employers plus your Professors, your potential girl friends or boyfriends, and everyone else on the planet who you might run across is watching. Trust me. They really are.
Be cautious. Be wise. People are always watching to see who you really are. They are checking out your character!
Grow in competence!
If your gift is ...... leadership, administration, service, generosity, etc... whatever it is... then do it with all your might. Give it your best! Give it 100%! (Romans 12:8 paraphrase)
In other words, make the most of the gifts you have been given. Hone them. Sharpen them. Use them wisely! You have already been given a great gift. A High School Diploma is a big deal. A College Degree is a big deal. You have worked hard to get here, and I’m sure a lot of folks helped you all along the way. Your should be proud of yourself as they are also proud of you. But don’t stop here. Keep moving forward!
Some of you are headed into the workplace from here. Wherever you end up in the marketplace, give it all you have. If you are a person of character and competence, you will go very far and do very well my friend .... of that truth....I have no doubts.
My suggestion is don’t just go for the highest salary. Don’t ever move anywhere to do anything just for money! Go for the opportunity where your heart and passion are calling you. And very importantly, look for opportunities to work with great people who are people of character and competence. You can learn from them. They will add value to you. And, as you grow, you can look for ways that you can add value to the company and to others!
Some of you are headed off to college. I know you are excited and that is awesome. My advice is this: Enjoy it. Have a great time. But also, study hard. Make the most of it. Learn all you can. You will need it. I’ve never met anyone who regretted furthering their education and getting a degree. But I’ve met many who quit and lived to regret it.
If you’re going to college or to further your education in some way, commit for the long run. Get ready to persevere in your education toward your goal and/or your degree. Your not just going there to learn a skill or get a job. You are going to grow in knowledge and wisdom! Knowledge is what you know. Wisdom is knowing how to apply what you know and when to use it.
Develop greater and greater competence, and you will be rewarded!
Have chemistry! Develop better people skills!
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
- Jesus, Luke 6:31
Chemistry has to do with your relational skills. Your people skills. I call it the “Like” factor! Do people like you? Do they like to work with you? I like to work with people I like to be around. How about you?
The fact is life is about team work. If your headed to college, your college is your team. You hired a team of professors, teachers and faculty to teach you, train you, pour into you. But you have to work with them and with your fellow students. Right? It involves good chemistry! People skills.
If your headed to a job in the market place, you will most likely be working with a team of other people. Work for most people involves working for a common purpose with a group of other people. Chemistry is the key to the success of any business venture.
The most important thing you need to remember about chemistry is attitude.
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. Our attitude makes all the difference”
Well. There it is. Three key things for you to remember as you seek to be the best God created you to be. Remember these three, and seek to be a person of character, competence and chemistry. It you do, you will experience success, significance and fulfillment in your life!
I pray God’s richest blessings and favor upon each of you! Three cheers for all the graduates and the rest of us who wish to thrive in life and work!