What I Would Tell Graduates

Frank Spillers gives advice to graduates on how to create the life they want. Global Horizons, LLC Building Civility Around the World as Cultural Transition Experts in building rural America

Congratulations, graduate, on achieving your goal! It's one that will get you to the next level and helped you become who you are.

Everything you do for the rest of your life will involve relationships. You will build relationships in every aspect or your life. Family, Work, Volunteer, and even yourself. The relationships you build will determine all your successes and all your failures.

So, as you move on to your next phase of life, I would like to give you some things to do that will create meaning in your life.


All your actions determine your results. Don’t blame others for what happens in your life or how your life ends up. It is how you respond to others that create your circumstances. The words you use will govern how you perceive the world you live in and how the world perceives you.


Actively listen to others. Do not just wait to talk. Listen to understand the other person. Listen to their stories. You do not know it all. Listen to others for their experience and wisdom. Ask more questions about others and tell less about yourself.

Be True to Who You Really Are.

Explore your passions. Don’t allow other people to dictate to you who you should be and what you should do.

Find your purpose and determine your “Why.” You were put on this earth for a reason, so keep true to yourself. Create in your mind a clear picture of the future you wish to live. A vision is a strong force to allow you to become who you are.

Make clear, SMART goals as stepping stones to your vision, goals that are specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you follow your dream, have a passion/desire, and you embed it in your heart, you create a life worth living.

Express Gratitude.

Appreciate everybody who comes into your life; good or bad. You attracted them for a reason, so be thankful for the lessons they teach you.

Forgive anybody who has harmed you in any way. Hanging on to the "what they did," and trying to get back at them only gives them power over you and controls you.

Write a Living Eulogy for those in your life that you love and hate. Let go of the past and never wait to tell another person what they mean to you. Someday, it will be too late.

Above all else, live a life that builds other people up.

Live a life where you keep learning. 

Live a life so when people ask you how you are, you can say, “I am better than I used to be.”

Go make a great life.