Congratulations, and a bit of advice

Graduation is heavy on advice. But life’s milestones are like
that. It’s a time for reflection and assessment. So
… four short years ago, the Gilroy High School Class of 2005
began as freshmen under a dark cloud of terror. America had been
attacked. Thousands died before our collective eyes in an
unbelievably brazen assault. Our own airplanes slamming into our
fantastic buildings on our soil in our most visib
le and vibrant city. Our world changed as Jessica and Felix
stepped onto the Gilroy High campus. And now, they will step into
the world, hopefully prepared to take responsibility for their
lives and our future.
Graduation is heavy on advice. But life’s milestones are like that. It’s a time for reflection and assessment. So … four short years ago, the Gilroy High School Class of 2005 began as freshmen under a dark cloud of terror. America had been attacked. Thousands died before our collective eyes in an unbelievably brazen assault. Our own airplanes slamming into our fantastic buildings on our soil in our most visible and vibrant city. Our world changed as Jessica and Felix stepped onto the Gilroy High campus. And now, they will step into the world, hopefully prepared to take responsibility for their lives and our future.

Life is often hard, but those who engage difficult challenges in an area of personal passion – whether it’s writing music or designing buildings or teaching children – are those who will become fulfilled. We offer a few favorite words of advice to the GHS Class of 2005 as we salute the accomplishments of students and their families.

• In the graduation-speech approach, you decide where you want to be in twenty years, and then ask: what should I do now to get there? I propose instead that you don’t commit to anything in the future, but just look at the options available now, and choose those that will give you the most promising range of options afterward.

It’s not so important what you work on, so long as you’re not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you’ll take.

– Paul Graham is an essayist and computer scientist, see paulgraham.com

• “Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.

“Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple CEO to ’05 Stanford University grads

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