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Let’s Begin

It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
Let’s begin

— X Ambassadors, Renegades

If you want to feel hope for the future, go to a ceremony honoring High School graduates awarded their scholarships. I was awestruck hearing their accomplishments over the last four years, much of which was endured during and in the aftermath of a pandemic when mental health and questions about the future of leadership in this world were very much on display elsewhere. The future, at least in that room, looked very bright indeed.

Our stories are constantly evolving. Sitting in that room listening to the brief biographies of those kids, with no stake in the game myself, was one of the most enlightening nights I’ve had in a long time. Surely it made me question my own productivity over the same duration. How do we see greatness and not want to have some of it for ourselves? The thing is, greatness is earned, not taken. We may reach higher still.

Carpe diem: Seize the day. These words are forever associated with a fictional high school class in another time and place. Isn’t it something when you witness it in real life? It’s all around us, hidden in the quiet resolve of people getting things done. Given the same amount of time in a day, we each choose what to do with the minutes.

It’s easy to see a group of high achievers and feel optimistic. It’s also easy to question what we’ve been doing with our own time, and perhaps feel a bit of an underachiever by comparison. It’s essential to remember in these moments that comparison is the thief of joy. Let us instead be inspired by those reaching for greatness and help them find the way. Greatness isn’t a destination, it’s a never-ending pursuit of mastery in one’s chosen path. If that pursuit is never-ending, it also means it’s always beginning. As in, here we go again. Shouldn’t that realization excite us?

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