If I Were 22 Again
 Dick Miller
© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 

October 1, 2014. We were sad to learn of the recent death of Dick Miller. May his stories live on.

If I were invited to give a college commencement address, it would be mercifully brief, and along these lines:

Photo of Dick at age 22.

If I were 22 years old, as are many of the members of the college graduating classes of 2014...
Dick today.

and had the opportunity to ask my 70-year-old self for some tips...

Here’s a baker’s dozen of ideas that I would pass along.

  1. Listen more, talk less.

  1. Just because someone is older doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wiser, but it increases the odds.

  1. If you like someone, figure out why. Do you have that characteristic? If not, what are you going to do about it?

  1. Just because it has always been done that way doesn’t necessarily mean that it should continue to be done that way.

  1. People who are experts often forget what it was like to be a novice.

  1. When you meet someone new, ask them what they do before you tell them what you do.

  1. A lot of things have already been figured out. Do your homework before you decide that you’ve made a breakthrough.

  1. Terrific people come in a wide variety of packaging.

  1. Organizations need leaders, and they need followers. People who can do both well are highly valued.

  1. If you’re open to it, you can learn something from every single person you meet.

  1. Always try to deliver more than is expected of you.

  1. Laugh out loud at least once a day (preferably more).

  1. Don’t forget to have a life outside your professional world.

To the class of 2014: you’ve just finished an intense period of learning. But remember the definition of the term “commencement:” a beginning. All this has been has been preparation for the beginning of the rest of your life, both professional and personal.

I’ll close with the oft-cited quote from the immortal Mark Twain. You can add a few years as necessary and apply it to today’s situation.

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

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