I recently presented a speech to a graduating high school class here in Japan. Re-molding one’s thoughts into a wholly different tongue with the intention of interpretive clarity for the receiver is no easy task. Aside from content, which may have been a bit “over their heads,” the biggest compliment was the fact that the entire speech had been written in their native tongue and not mine. It is hard to write a speech for a teenage audience who are not expecting such a speech. Nonetheless, I gave it my best college effort and presented them with the following three points (influenced by Constructive Living and the teachings of Lee Thayer):
1. There are many things in this world that are beyond your control. Focus your energies on that which is controllable: your behavior. Try to see how each choice that you make at every moment (how to act, how to talk, how to present yourself and so on) are within your range of control and are mutable. You have the power to choose the greatest life.
2. Happiness comes from the daily effort that you expend in lieu of your purpose in life. If you want to experience real “happiness,” develop the skills and follow the path that keeps you heading toward your purpose.
3. At some point, you may be put in a situation where you have to make a difficult decision. That decision may involve you embarking on your journey against the grain of friends or family. In fact, sometimes other people may try to steer you onto their path, which may not be in your own best self-interest. You have to choose your path, even though it might be a difficult decision. You can start today by asking yourself if you are on the right path. If you are not on that path, put yourself on that path.
NOTE: If you are interested in reading the Japanese version of the speech, please let me know and I can upload it either within this post or as a new post. Thank you.