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Chase Your Passion (Not Your Pension)! by Denis Waitley

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Chase Your Passion (Not Your Pension)! by Denis Waitley

First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who dedicate your valuable time to reading our blogs. Your support means the world to us. We sincerely apologize for our absence yesterday on Valentine's Day; we missed connecting with you. However, without further ado, let's jump right back in and delve into another captivating topic.

When our youngest daughter, Lisa, achieved her master's degree, the elation she felt was likely rivaled by that of her parents. As we stepped into the sweltering stadium for the commencement ceremony, the realization dawned on me that after putting seven children through college and graduate studies, I would finally be able to secure my retirement.

The heat was intense within the concrete arena, the midday sun mercilessly beating down on us. I anticipated a long and arduous ceremony. As the graduates filed in, adorned with amusing slogans on their caps like "Will work for food!" and "Get my room ready, Mom!", our daughter's cap simply read, "Thanks Mom and Pop." Some wore bathing suits under their gowns, while others playfully blew bubbles with soap pipes. Most were visibly ecstatic at the prospect of leaving school, eagerly anticipating the night's festivities and the freedom that awaited them in the real world.

As the preliminary speakers delved into politically correct topics, I couldn't help but wonder if there would be any time left for the main speaker. To my surprise, his address barely lasted ten minutes, perhaps setting a national record for brevity (Winston Churchill holds the international record with a thirty-second speech repeating "Never give up!" nine times).

The main speaker, Edward James Olmos, the actor-activist renowned for his role as Jaime Escalante in the inspiring film "Stand and Deliver", stood up and addressed the graduates. "So, are we ready to party?" he asked. "Yeah, let's party!" came the resounding reply. "I know, thank God it's Friday," he continued, "but commencement means to begin, not finish. You've had a four-year sabbatical from life, and now you're ready to go out there and earn. You're only beginning Real World 101 in your education."

"Before we leave," he added, "please never, ever work solely for money. Don't just settle for a job. A job is merely a means to earn money. A career, on the other hand, is driven by passion and inspiration. You pursue it not for the paycheck, but because you love it, you're excited by it, and you'd do it even if you weren't paid much. By following your passion, you'll always stay ahead of the money, instead of being enslaved by it."

Olmos passionately emphasized the importance of chasing one's passion rather than a pension, urging the graduates to be driven by a thirst for knowledge and a desire to make a positive impact on humanity. His words left the audience stunned, many moved to tears of joy. It was a rare moment of profound inspiration, delivered not by an actor seeking an honorarium, but by a man consumed by pure passion.

As Olmos's speech resonated, a faculty member remarked, "Maybe we should have included this in the curriculum."

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