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May 19, 2020 1:15 pm


Years of training and work, all your efforts and overcoming hurdles have culminated in where you are today – on the verge of a new life, a new plan and possibly a new career.

For many, graduation is a happy, optimistic time when you cross a new threshold.  For others, that threshold is riddled with uncertainty and challenge. For all, the future will be what you make of it; determined by preparation, opportunity and how you meet that challenge.

Life is defined by challenges; especially if you’re a high schooler whose memories and future have been discounted by a virus, or a practicing physician whose career has been upended or a working mom who is again asked to do more with much less. Life is what you make of it. I like to look to graduation speeches for inspiration, as they can help us refocus, provide new perspectives and help set the next path forward.

Will graduation lead you to pivot on who you are or what you are known for?  Will you reinvent yourself or strengthen and refocus you assets?

Finding the “New Normal” is the oft repeated, ill-defined, quasi state where you are being asked to figure out what it all means or watch while the world plays out and decides for you.

For you “New Normal” graduates, you must put “normal” and “new normal” in your rear-view and instead, look forward to embracing change. You can join a movement, be the movement by becoming the catalyst or engage the challenge or ideology that affronts or drives you.

Now is the time to pray big, think big, do your research and learn the next dance steps. “But I’ve never been a very good dancer” doesn’t mean you don’t hear or dig the music.  It means you need to get on the dance floor and figure it out. Learning to dance to your music is far preferable to dancing someone else’s steps.

Graduation should be about Inspiration, Hope and Grit; not about Doubt and Inertia.

In times of change or trouble, the pessimist clings to a relentless downside grasp of reality.  Maybe even hell-bent with verbiage and understanding that only adds to the downward slide in thinking, productivity and spirit.   

Wouldn’t it be better to turn a deaf ear to fear and blame and find the voice for inspiration or solution?   

The optimist builds on or looks beyond reality to reach for the solutions.  Sir Winston Churchill once said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Now is the time to get going with your Giddyup.  

“Can do” means your best is yet to come.

Dr. Cush is the Executive Editor of and also Co-Edits the online textbook 
Dr. Cush's interests include medical education, novel drug development, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, drug safety, and Still's disease/autoinflammatory syndromes. He has published over 140 articles and 2 books in rheumatology.
He can be followed on twitter: @RheumNow

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