Pomp and Circumstance….and Now what?

It’s that time of year – Graduation time!  The walk across the stage is a time of excitement and a time to take pride in all your hard work.  Congratulations to all the graduates for your accomplishments and commitment to your education!!

Having been in several graduations while becoming a psychologist, I remember thinking, “Now that I have all this knowledge, what direction do I go?”  And the irony was it happened every time – when I graduated high school, when I completed my undergraduate degree and even when I received my doctorate. 

Formal education teaches us to discover our interests and, if we’re lucky, set goals.  Setting goals is an important first step to turning our interests into careers that bring us feelings of satisfaction (and, in most cases, income).  But, setting goals is not enough.  Turning those goals into realities takes focus, planning, problem-solving, creativity, motivation and perseverance. Getting all those things to come together can be a real challenge.  And, when they don’t, the frustration is like no other.  That frustration can then stand in the way of continuing to work towards a dream or, worse yet, from believing in yourself.

In the years of helping myself and others achieve goals, here are some helpful hints to get you started:

  1. Acknowledge accomplishments –To be successful, you have to believe in yourself.  What better proof of your abilities than your past track record! Taking the time to acknowledge your past successes emphasizes that future success is possible.
  2. Be specific – The road to success must be well-paved.  The more specific you are, the more likely you are to keep going until you realize your dream.
  3. Break it up – To help you stay motivated, break the goal down into smaller, more quickly achievable parts.  That way you get rewarded at each step with a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Ask for directions – Guidance and support from friends and family is critical.  Staying focused and energized in the pursuit of a goal is hard enough without having to do it all alone.  The biggest leaders of industry all had a mentor at some point.
  5. Learn from the pros – A qualified solution-focused therapist or life coach can help you clarify your goals, plan for their success, stay motivated and focused despite life’s distractions and help problem-solve the plan if things go off course.  Not sure about your goal? Career counseling can guide you in exploring opportunities.  In most cases, a few sessions over a short period of time can help move you towards realizing your ultimate success. This as an investment in your future.  Don’t believe this can be helpful? Do some research!  Many of the most influential and successful people in leading industries work with professional coaches to achieve results. 

So, hats off graduates and families!  You have now proven that you can complete a goal once you set your mind to it.  Now, your future is only limited by your next goal! 


About drirene

Dr. Irene is a Licensed Psychologist with offices in Boca Raton and Coral Springs, FL. She focuses on helping people manage their stress so that they can live healthier, more productive, more satisfying lives.
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