The end of the school year brings excitement for many—a time of graduation. This year we celebrated two graduates in our home with one daughter completing High School and another completing University.

I had the privilege of being the Commencement Speaker at my daughter Paige’s High School graduation. I asked the students, “What are you going to do after High School?” This is one of the most asked questions of High School graduates. Over and over people will ask them, “What you are doing after graduation; where you are going to college; what are you going to do with your life?”

In the short time we had together I asked them a much bigger question, “What are you going to do to live your BEST life?”

I shared a few words of wisdom with the students—advice that can serve as a good reminder to each of us. Choose to live intentionally, to take charge and design your best life. You are here on earth for a purpose, with different gifts and talents that you are called to use to reach your full potential. Finding out what those are is your personal mission.

One of the best pieces of advice in designing your BEST Life, is don’t be afraid to fail. Realize failure can lead to success.

I have fallen so many times in my life, personally and professionally. There have been far more learnings in the challenging times than at any other time. Many of you have faced significant challenges in your young lives already. These can be a deterrent, but don’t have to destroy you. You can overcome and choose to allow these situations to shape you—make you better instead of bitter.

There is great book by Larry Wilson called, Play to Win. In it, he describes two kinds of people:

  • The individual that is Playing not to Lose: Avoiding situations where they might lose, fail, be emotionally hurt, or be rejected.
  • The individual that is Playing to Win: Consciously choosing to go as far as they can, with all that they have, and learning from whatever happens.

When you choose the mindset of Playing to Win you cannot fail. You will only learn and grow.

As an example, my grandson Korbin learned to walk recently. He was not really interested in learning to walk, so we turned into enthusiastic fans cheering him on when he decided to attempt for the first time. His brother Willem balanced him on his feet and with a determined look on his face Korbin did the “drunken sailor walk” to us—three whole steps, and then he fell on his bottom. He looked up at us with a big grin. Did we get upset with him for falling? No!  We clapped and cheered, and Korbin did too. It didn’t matter that he had fallen; it was progress. He had walked!

As graduates leaving campus, you are taking a first step. As you follow God’s plan for your life there will be times that you fall, and get back up again. He will be with you. In Psalm 32:8, He promises, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

With your whole adult life ahead of you, it is up to you to make the decision to take charge of your life. Discover your purpose, that purpose which is uniquely yours and will have the most positive impact on your family, your community, your world.

Wherever you are in life, you are taking first steps. Choose to live intentionally. Take charge and design your best life. Take a step, and don’t be afraid to fall down. Learn and grow.

The decision is yours. No one can do it for you. It’s up to you.

What are you going to do to live your BEST life?