As the final refrain of “Pomp and Circumstances” softly fades into the wind, tassels are turned and a projected 1.8 million new college graduates head out to make their mark on the world. They have been emboldened by eloquent graduation ceremony speeches that challenge them to be themselves, grab life by the horns, live their passion and never settle. The big question is how?
There is no doubt that these speeches are as inspiring as they are meant to be. But once the fanfare has died down, how do our graduates connect the dots between what they’ve learned in the classroom and what they will live in the world?
The transition from college graduate to “real world” contributor takes many paths. Regardless of what path a graduate takes to achieve their goals and realize their dreams, four common things must occur:
1. Start – On your mark, get set, and GO. Visioning, planning, and goal setting are all critical to success but all the planning in the world won’t get you there if you don’t START. Mistakes are part of the learning process. We can’t get too hung up of getting it “right.” We must first just GET to it.
2. Focus – Consistently practicing the basic fundamentals is key. While you may have a destination in mind, it is the daily consistent practice that will not only get you closer to where you want to be, it is also what brings about new information that helps you define and redefine your path.
3. Concentrate – So what do you do when you make mistakes, veer off the path, or start on a path that doesn’t lead where you think it will go? You must concentrate to overcome the obstacles that you, others or circumstances place in your path.
4. Finish – Finishing is not just the accomplishment of a goal. It is also staying the course, even when it’s hard, and trusting the process to get you to the end result.
When we Start, Focus, Concentrate and Finish, we put ourselves in the best position to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way. If you’d like to know more or get a little help with Start-Focus-Concentrate-Finish, please visit the Rocks In A Bucket Solutions page at http://www.worldclasscoaches.com/rocks-in-a-bucket-intro.php.
 Hussar. W.J., and Bailey, T.M. (2007). Projections of Education Statistics to 2016 (NCES 2008-060). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.