Some words to live by

Several years ago, I was invited to speak to some graduating high school seniors. What follows is a synopsis of my advice. (Spoiler alert: I haven’t been invited back.)

You’ve been told you can do anything. You can’t; humans have limitations. Work your tail off discovering the few things you do well that you also enjoy. Master those.

Some academic degrees boast that they are so broad you can do anything with them. In reality, they are so general that you can’t do anything with them. Specialize.

Don’t stall out trying to find exactly the right school, major, job or mate. There are many right ways to maneuver through life and only a few wrong ones. Keep moving. Like a car, life’s easier to steer when you’re rolling.

Create more than you consume. People who create are more valuable to employers than people who don’t. In other words, you’ll get paid more.

Practice voice to voice and face to face communication. Consequential business will always happen through them.

Be present. Try leaving your phone in the car.

Build relationships with people in other age brackets. The world is changing; human nature is not. Older friends have wisdom that will help you navigate both.

Budget while you have a little, and it will be easier to budget when you have a lot. You’ll never have a lot unless you budget.

Time, not money or geography, is the limiting factor of our age. Treat it as your most valuable asset.

Don’t over-schedule. Notice the rhythms of the earth. An omniscient God created days, seasons and years. Fallible humans created hours, minutes and seconds.

Learn to say no. Responsible people will always be in demand. Don’t be afraid to forego an opportunity if it takes you off your focus.

The people you spend time with will help shape who you become. Choose wisely. Screen carefully.

The music you listen to will also help shape who you become. Don’t assume the “artist” on the other end has a good plan for your life.

When in doubt, end the relationship. If it’s meant to be, it will come back around – on your terms.

Immature people will want you to be responsible for them. Don’t give in. It will make you miserable. With mature people, give and forgive. It will make you happy.

Sex is not for entertainment. Don’t expect to give yourself physically to a slew of partners and get a committed, satisfying marriage in return.

Don’t worry about what people think about you. They aren’t thinking about you; they are mainly thinking about themselves.

You were born into a situation you did not choose. You are not responsible for that situation or what happened to you as a child. You are responsible for how you respond as an adult.

You are not alone, nor will you ever be. The One who made you loves you. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you.

In the end, your life will be judged by how you relate. To God, your family, your friends, your enemies, yourself. Relate well and you will live well.
Kevin Thompson can be reached at


1 Response to “Some words to live by”

  1. 1 Bennye Waskom May 24, 2017 at 23:06

    Great advice….especially the next to the last paragraph. Love the Lord and you are never alone.

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