Graduation Thoughts: Godspeed and Fair Weather!

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
3 min read

I look around and you are all bright and clear eyed and engaged. I see way too many people get hammered down by life; be careful and cautious. Don’t fall into traps of poor habits that don’t serve you and negative thinking. You can see the effects of the soul-crusher in the bone weary fatigue borne of regret or any pair of sad tired defeated eyes. Be respectful of your future self and don’t go down paths that lead there.

Fashion a life of your own design, well suited to your needs. Follow you interests and your heart; they already know who you want to be. Enjoy each moment. Practice gratitude; there is new science saying it wires the brain for the better. Be optimistic. Take risks; I don’t mean dangerous foolish physical risks. De-risk the risky path.

Stay hungry physically, mentally, and spiritually. And stay foolish in the best sense of the word. Become a student of the possible. Cultivate beginner’s mind.

Shoshin (初心) is the Zen Buddhism concept of beginner’s mind. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

Life can be an adventure. You write the script. Take care of others. Be empathic and sensitive.

Be creative. It changes the future and can put the past in a different light. Be Bold. There is magic in boldness and courage.

Stay curious and continuously learn.

Bit by bit shed poor habits:

· Nutrition; don’t eat crap; stay away from soda and the sugar, fat and salt of processed foods

· Exercise every day like you mean it

· Stop drinking booze

· Stop smoking pot

· Don’t smoke cigarettes

· Turn off your TV. Better yet, throw out your TV

· Avoid the people in your life that do these things; they will hold you down and back

Fall in love; pick your partner with extreme care and discernment.


Read poetry and literature and history and biography.

Learn about the world

Enjoy art and music and philosophy

Live simply; but spend money on good clothes. Don’t pay retail, buy used on eBay

Don’t chase fame and money too much

Meditate daily

Do things outside

Cultivate yourself; care for yourself


Be the change you want in the world.

Have fun

Laugh and develop your sense of humor

Always be on the lookout for how you can help or make a situation better and more fun

Work hard; be nice

Be kind

Follow your interests and your truth will be revealed to you. The path is about self-actualization. What makes a life heroic is the quality of attention paid to it. Remain responsible to your future self, trust your instincts and listen to your heart.

Illegitimi non carborundum

God Speed and Fair Weather!

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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