HEY GRADS–NERVES ARE NORMAL! , ATOMIC HABITS, MICHAEL J FOX DOC & GOLF’S “BLOCK PARTY”

Congrats to the graduating class of 2023! As I type this, you have repositioned your tassels, removed your caps and gowns, and are now inundated with relatives, parties, questions about your future, and a bundle of nerves and excitement. It’s a fun time and a stressful time in your life. Many of you are experiencing a wealth of mixed emotions. Guess what—that’s ok. Change is good, but it’s not easy, and as Albert Einstein said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” You are consumed with newness, my graduates—it’s a whole new world for you, and anyone would be nervous, it’s important you understand this. Nerves can manifest as a mixture of excitement and stress, where you are thinking, ” Ok, now that I have this brand new diploma, what the heck will I do with it?” Whether you have a plan or not, always remember—it’s normal to be nervous—no matter how old you are. Take Grammy award-winning singer Darius Rucker.  This year, he was asked when he was last nervous going on stage? His reply should make us all feel better. “I still get nervous every night. If I stop getting a little nervous, I’ll stop playing.” Everybody gets nervous and has a different path to success after graduation, so trust your path.  Remember, this isn’t a race. We all figure out this period in our lives differently. Some will find success right away and make more money. It’s ok— there isn’t one right way to accomplish this. The challenge is to map out the “best” way to find happiness. Choose the one that best suits your ultimate goals, and if you don’t know what those are, take small steps until you do— keep moving forward! Be mindful that you must work hard, trust your instincts, yet always do the right things to get closer to what makes you happy—pick a career built around your strengths and passion. Some take more time than others. Focus on yourself instead of comparing your progress to others. You must understand you are not alone! We all get nervous all the time, and that’s ok. Nerves mean you care! I am in my mid-fifties, and my nerves are with me daily. When I started teaching in the past few years after spending decades as a sportscaster, a veteran professor said, “I get nervous every time I step into class.” That was therapeutic to hear, so I wanted to pass on the same therapy–it’s ok for you to feel the way you do. You are nervous about using your degree in an area that will optimize your talents and hard work. Your nerves tell you, I like my field, but will I like the people I will work for and with? Will this bring long-term satisfaction and happiness? Some of you remember the nerves of choosing a college and prospective major. Remember being nervous about your future life away from home, your pending roommate, and your classes. Guess what—everyone else feels the same way! Tiger Woods once said, “The day I’m not nervous is the day I quit.” you thought Tiger made other people nervous? People handle nerves in different ways. Some override it with bravado, while many others are hard on themselves, feeling they are the only ones worrying about what will happen on their first day on the job. Often facing nerves equate to life-changing results. It’s amazing to me, looking back at my life, how the more nervous I was prepping for something in my career–the greater the satisfaction I had overcoming those feelings and gaining the confidence I needed moving forward. Those emotions are liberating and are something for all of you to look forward to. We all get nervous. Class of 2023, you aren’t alone. Many of the most successful people I know suffer from “imposter syndrome.” They feel that even though they’ve worked hard to advance in their respective careers, they don’t deserve their newfound success. They are nervous about living up to all of the expectations around them. They wonder if this can continue? One of the hottest entertainers on the planet, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco recently told Conan O’Brien on his podcast that despite his success, he still has a problem relaxing, wondering if he can maintain the bar he has set for his work. It’s normal to doubt yourself. It’s common to be fearful of your new surroundings, especially when it comes to this unique period of your life, but all you need to know is what you feel is normal, and it’s a feeling that will motivate you throughout your life. Embrace the nerves. Use them to your advantage! It won’t always be easy, but it’s a special time for all of you—embrace the thought of carving your niche and figuring out what is best for you. They will be memories and lessons that will last a lifetime. Looking back, you will think, why didn’t I enjoy this more—so let yourself soak in all the lessons life will pass on to you at this stage. But remember, you are surely not alone on this special journey. Nervous is …..normal! Nervous grads, our first stop in another lap around the Naborhood–as always, thanks for stopping by! ATOMIC HABITS: If you haven’t bought your favorite graduate a gift, I highly recommend this inspiring book, “Atomic Habits.” We all can use motivation, and this book delivers it. James Clear’s creation, on the surface, seems like common sense, but it does a great job of mapping out a mindset of obtaining your goals by not rushing the process—you garner big results by making a series of tiny changes in your life. It all begins with developing quality habits to get you to your desired finish line. This New York Times bestseller combines a detailed game plan with a collection of ideas from successful and driven people and is backed up by discoveries respected scientists have made. The heart of the book likes in Clear’s