Sheryl Sandberg’s Message to Graduates

Every moment—even in the pouring rain—is a gift.

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Have you had one of those weeks when nothing worked out the way you wanted them to? Maybe you’re feeling down because of you’re not feeling too well? Or the weather sucks? Or some brutal rejection made you question every single decision you’ve made in your life? Or all of the above? What do you do then? Do you curl under the blanket and shut out the world or?

I was feeling pretty down recently for personal reasons, and then I watched Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement address. For those who don’t know who she is, Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and the force of nature behind the Lean In Organization calling for woman equality. Two years ago she lost her husband, Dave, suddenly and her world changed forever. The theme of the commencement address was resilience, a topic she researched and wrote about in a book co-written with Adam Grant titled, Option B.

One particular story resonated with me where she called her friend to congratulate her for turning 50, and then says, “Happy birthday, Laura. But I am also calling to say in case you woke up this morning with that ‘oh my God, I’m 50’ thing. Don’t do that. This is the year Dave doesn’t turn 50.” She then adds to the graduating class of 2017, “Either we get older, or we don’t. No more jokes about growing old. Every year, every moment — even in the pouring rain — is an absolute gift.”

The profoundness of those words hit me. We really complain a lot. About everything. We fail to appreciate the things in life that are most important to us. Until we lose them. Our health. Our families. Our friends.

So maybe things don’t turn out the way we want them to, what are we going to do about that? Who’s the hero of that story? You, or the person standing in your way? If the answer is, ‘You’ what are you going to do about it?

Image courtesy of Unsplash

I keep on emphasizing do because taking deliberate action is usually what gets you out of the rut you’re in. Take action and do something new. You can start by calling your friends and figuring out how you can help them. It could be simple like someone I knew who used his stuck-in-a-rut life to drive his kid relatives to school and let their parents save on the bus fare. You can also start by getting more serious about something you’ve always been passionate about like writing or painting or coding. If you’ve always been upset that you never found your passion in life, then start by following your curiosities, take an online course on Start learning on Udemy today!” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Udemy, or start a blog on hostgator and see where your creativity takes you.

Because remember, Every year, every moment — even in the pouring rain — is an absolute gift.

So I’ve written this blog post and am planning to go running next…what are you going to do today?

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What are your thoughts on the topic? Tweet me @ahechoes to let me know.

Also, check out my fiction short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast” and subscribe to the newsletter on my blog

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