Launching notes, 11-16


11. Find and emulate good mentors. Personal mentors, spiritual mentors, academic and professional mentors--whether in person or distant, they light the way toward the person you were meant to be. Wonder about what makes them so terrific. Notice what makes them tick, what their habits are. Use those things as a pattern for your own self. (Then, of course, thank them for their inspiration.) 

12. On a related note, sometimes you have to fake it 'til you make it/make a leap of faith. Not all the time. But every once in a while, you'll feel kind of like an imposter when you first _______ (become a parent, start a job, graduate from college, fulfill an assignment or calling). It's okay; make the first steps, get out there and the way will appear beneath you (thank you, Kierkegaard and Raiders of the Lost Ark).  

13. Learn a little ballroom dancing. You never know when you'll be invited somewhere (wedding? ball? inauguration?) that it'll come in handy. But until then, when in doubt on the dance floor and some kind of ballroomish dancing is required, just step forward together, side together, back together, side together, making a kind of square.

14.  Sunscreen, baby. Every single time.

15. Embrace a little fear. Do it anyway. Recognize it as a little signal that you're giving yourself the chance to grow.

16. Read the paper, listen to the news, be able to discuss issues intelligently. Get your information from lots of sources, not just the ones that confirm what you already thought you knew. When you don't agree with someone, be willing to listen to their point of view and articulate yours with respect and kindness.

I'm writing occasional launching notes (read more about them here), bits of advice to my kids about how to be a gracious, grown-up type person--both trivial bits and major advice. Do you have any launching notes to add? Keep 'em coming!  You can email me through the link in the sidebar.