All of us have our graduations

Column by Michael Norton


First of all, I would like to congratulate everyone who has recently graduated from any level of education as well as all of the family members and friends who supported you along the way. You did a fantastic job, and each and every one of you should be very proud of yourselves.

I could include the typical quotes by Dr. Seuss, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain or Walt Disney about the places you can go, the things that you can accomplish, pursuing your dreams and living with an abundance of creativity and imagination as you prepare for whatever it is that you have graduated to. But since most of you that graduated or attended a graduation ceremony have heard your fair share of quotes for the week, I will not quote these gentlemen again.

Graduation isn't just for the students; at some point in life we all graduate to some higher level in our career, a skill, a talent, or even in a relationship. Technically, I guess that does make us all students, doesn't it? We are constantly learning and a student of life.

As we prepare to graduate or advance in any endeavor, it takes time, commitment, and a desire to actually want to advance or achieve that next level. There is a quote that I would like to share with you. I have shared it before in previous columns, but it is so relevant and so powerful I wanted to share it again. Eric Hoffer says it this way, “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

We have to constantly be willing to learn.

How about you, are you taking your fitness to a higher level? Maybe you are advancing your ability in learning to play an instrument. Perhaps you are studying a second, maybe even a third language. I know many of you who read this column are studying the Bible and looking to further your understanding of God's word. And maybe there are some of us who are graduating to new heights in our ability to communicate and build deeper relationships.

You see we really never stop learning and never stop attempting to graduate or advance to a higher level. My sister-in-law recently visited Colorado and had not actually cooked a full meal in over 27 years. But with a little coaching and support, she cooked an incredible dinner and I believe has now graduated to a new level in her ability as a chef. OK, maybe “chef” is a little too strong, but she did an amazing job.

Where are you going? What are you pursuing? What do you want to advance in your life? I would love to hear all about it at and when we pursue graduating at anything in this life, it will certainly be a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of


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