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A Promise to Graduates with “No Promise”

During these weeks of graduation, you are probably seeing lots of commencement speeches hit the web. They are filled with advice about how young people can fulfill their dreams, discover what they want to do next and achieve their potential. This weekend, there was an op-ed in the NY Times that offered a different perspective,
 reaching out to the high school underperformers. The kids who may have been voted least likely to succeed. The ones who showed little or no promise.  

Perhaps you remember people like that from your own school years. Have you kept track of them? If you had, the way their lives actually turned out might surprise you and more than a few young people too. Most of them are probably doing just fine. They aren’t living in cardboard boxes or desperately hating life. Quite the opposite in many cases. They may be happily married, living where they want, doing the sort of work they like and not even remotely resembling those losers you might remember them to be. The point is people grow up and make new lives for themselves.

Your success isn’t defined by what people thought about you in high school. So, share this article with any young graduate you know. Whether they are heading to college and know what they want to do next in life or not, this is an equally useful reminder they should hear.

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In addition to Non-Obvious Thinking, Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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