by Michelle Kennedy
I know this may sound like terrible advice, especially after all your hard work towards high school graduation. But, here it is—I want you to put aside all that you have learned and experienced up to your senior year. You have taken all your tests, written your papers, survived the endless hours of homework, and examined all the options in front of you, and now it is time to begin the next phase of your life. Whether you are heading to college, taking a gap year, traveling the world, getting right into the flow of your career/job or following your passion, I believe one thing to be an important factor toward your success—the readiness to take in all of what you are about to experience in your life in a different way than you may be used to.
I read a book a number of years ago called “the Greatest Networker in the World,” by John Milton Fogg, and it describes an approach to life that has helped me in many of my life’s experiences—it’s a theory of being like an ‘empty cup’ in your life. What does that mean? It’s a visualization of your willingness to listen to every part of your experiences, rather than some. The narrative in Fogg’s book, explains that “There is nothing which you now know, and nothing about what you think you don’t know, that will help you create the success you desire. The key to your success lies only in what you don’t know that you don’t know.” The question you may be asking is, “How can I know what I don’t even know that I don’t know?” The answer is that you really can’t, but that’s the secret to success, to make sure you have an ‘empty cup’ to get it all. One that is not already filled with what you think you know, and no room for anything else to fit in.
My opinion is to take in everything, because you just won’t know when the ‘something’ that fills your cup, is the something that you didn’t know you didn’t know. If afterwards you think that whatever you have listened to or learned doesn’t help you, then just discard it and move on. At least you now know something you didn’t even know you didn’t know. So wherever you’re heading, good luck and take it all in.
—Michelle Kennedy, senior class adviser