Is someone you love graduating from high school or college? If they asked for advice, what would you say?
Elder Richard G. Scott gave 13 suggestions in a 2008 commencement address to BYU graduates called "For Success in Life." Here are 5 of them.
"I have a few concrete suggestions for you who graduate today. They are simple yet profound. They are drawn from the doctrine of the Lord and personal experience that has brought happiness and success to my dear wife, Jeanene, and to me.
"Use Correct Principles. Establish a set of guiding principles for your life from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Never compromise them. Difficulties in life begin when small deviations from true principles are made to justify a quick move to greater accomplishment. Over time, that pattern brings failure. Strength comes from making no exceptions to guiding principles. Without such a foundation an individual lives for the moment, making decisions according to popular trends or current circumstances. Such will likely violate eternal truths and lose by rationalization many of the marvelous opportunities of life that bring great achievement and happiness.
"Exercise Faith. It is understandable that you feel some anxiety about your future. Because you are exceptional young men and women, the Lord will accelerate your growth by giving you experiences that could stretch your current capacity to the limit. Let your predominant attitude be faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, confidence in His teachings, trust in His ability to keep His promises, and reliance on His capacity to inspire, motivate, and guide you. Stay close to Him through faith and obedience. Then, through the Holy Ghost, He will help you find the solution to every perplexing problem you will face. The answers to major challenges will likely come after considerable prayer and pondering. Usually, portions of the answer will be given a piece at a time until the full answer is received.
"Be Disciplined. Discipline breeds determination. Determination fueled by discipline overcomes the barriers in life that would cause us to fall far short of our true potential. Determination when supported by practiced discipline converts barriers into ladders to greater success, happiness, joy, and accomplishment.
"Rigorous discipline is at the core of all significant attainment. Strict discipline is at the root of significant character development. Discipline is self-strengthening. The more it is exercised, the more capacity is available for its use. An individual who is truly disciplined does not flaunt it; rather, he or she employs it wisely and is generously understanding of those who lack discipline.
"I have learned much about quiet discipline from my precious wife, Jeanene. It was the central hallmark of her character. While understanding and generous with others who did not employ it in their lives, she was strictly disciplined in her own life.
"Radiate a Positive Attitude. Let your attitude be that of continuing happiness. The challenges you face and the growth experiences you encounter should be like temporary scenes played out on the stage of continuing peace and happiness. Don’t become so absorbed in a single event that you can’t think of anything else. Challenges are not intended to be the substance of life. It is by understanding and obeying the teachings of God that your life will fulfill its glorious purpose. That perspective keeps challenges confined to their proper place—stepping-stones to further growth and attainment. Life should and can be wondrously beautiful....
"Trust in the Lord. Be obedient to His counsel. Follow His commandments and you will be filled with inspiration and power. You will obtain goals beyond your personal capacity. Do not judge your potential by what you are today but by what you can become under the guidance of the Lord. Those who disobey the commandments of God face the challenges of life alone without the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
"One of the greatest early indicators of career success is deep, self-confidence in your ability to overcome challenges. That self-confidence comes from knowing that you do not walk alone. Your obedience will bring confidence. That confidence will bring appropriate power. You will learn that the Spirit can bless you in every walk of life.
"Material things do not of themselves produce happiness and satisfaction and the joy of attainment on earth. They are not required for your exaltation. It is nobility of character that gives life its full meaning. Such character is the fabric of inner strength and conviction. It is woven from countless righteous decisions, none of which is difficult to make. A consistent righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression."
Read Elder Scott's other suggestions: For Success in Life