From Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

Dave Thomas Serves Up Advice for Graduates of All Ages

It takes twenty years to make an overnight success.

Eddie Cantor

A self-made success, Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurants, has been asked to speak to students at numerous universities, including Duke, Ohio State and Clemson. Over the years, he has shared his advice and “can-do” attitude with hundreds of thousands of new grads.

Here, he shares his top ten tips for this year’s graduating seniors:

1. Never stop learning.

Graduation doesn’t mean the end of learning, it’s just the beginning. The “real world” has so much to teach us— only if we are ready and willing to take notes.

2. Do what makes you happy.

Whether it’s choosing a career or deciding what charity to get involved with, the choice should come from your heart. Ultimately, you are the one who has to get up every morning and enjoy what you are doing, so make sure it matters to you.

3. Show your true colors.

It’s okay if you march to the beat of a different drummer— there are plenty of people who will enjoy the music you make. Don’t be afraid to be unique or speak your mind because that’s what makes you different from everyone else.

4. Don’t give up.

It’s easy to throw in the towel when things aren’t going your way. Nothing good comes without hard work. Be willing to invest the time and energy to achieve your goals.

5. Be honest.

Talk is cheap. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Living your life with integrity and honesty is the only way to live. People will respect you and you’ll respect yourself.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

If every decision you make is life or death, you’ll be dead a lot. Don’t let little problems become big obstacles.

7. Break out of your routine.

Doing things the way you have always done them can only get you where you’ve always been. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and try something new.

8. Always do your best.

Be true to yourself and always give your best effort. If you try your best and don’t reach your goal, you haven’t failed. You’ve gained experience.

9. Live life to the fullest.

Many times we focus on accomplishing our goals and don’t take time to celebrate our achievements. Don’t miss an opportunity to spend time with your family and friends—they’re an important part of your life.

10. Believe in yourself.

You have come this far, so have the courage to continue to learn and grow. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve all your goals.

Dave Thomas

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