Think Back, Think Forward

So yesterday I attended a colleagues’s leadership program graduation. 


There were about 20 people in the graduating class. 


One thing that I liked was that when they called up each person to shake hands and get their diplomas, each graduate was given the opportunity to say a few words. 


It was amazing to me how 20 people could give a thank you, what I learned, and what I will do with it speech in 20 completely different ways. 


20 people, 20 personalities, 20 ways of thinking and saying something. 


We really are all the similar to and different from one anther at the same time!


I remember one graduate in particular.


He talked about how the leadership program challenged him, and he said:

It made me think back, and it made me think forward. 


I loved that!


This is really what learning is all about. 


Reflecting back and using that to think forward–how to apply it, how to shape it, and how to innovate from it.


Thinking forward starts with thinking back to where we came from and all the lessons learned in our lives. 


It all starts at the beginning and it goes forward from there. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Failing Forward

There were 2 inspirational student speakers today at my daughter’s graduation from American University.


One spoke about how he got sick soon after starting college with a serious vascular disease, but despite numerous hopsitalizations, treatments, and falling behind his peers, he persevered and was graduating today and in very good spirits. 


Another women spoke about her many failures leading up to the success today of her graduation. She described how her father used to ask her: 

“What did you fail at this week?”


Why?


Because even though we don’t like to admit it, most people have many, many more failures in life than successes.  


Even Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb is said to have failed 1,000 times before getting it right.


This women explained how failure is actually something to celebrate–does that sound crazy?.


But it’s really not, and here’s why?

“To fail is to learn.
To learn is to grow.
To fail is to grow forward.”

Now, I had heard about failing up, but never failing forward. 


Many who fail still manage to advance themselves in the process. 


But failing forward is different. 


It’s not taking advantage of the failure, but legitimately learning from the experience so that you can grow yourself, and advance yourself, by becoming a smarter, stronger, and more capable person from it. 


Sure, it hurts to fail. 


Who would normally want to celebrate failure?


But if we understand life as a journey and not a specific destination, then we enjoy every blessed moment that we have to become better today and tomorrow than we were yesterday. 


In this case, failure is not the opposite of success, but rather is part and parcel of achieving it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Valedictorian

Valedictorian

I just want to say my sincerest congratulations and mazel tov to my daughter, Rebecca Delilah, who graduated from high school today. 


She was the valedictorian of her graduating class from Barrie Prep. 


I am so immensely proud of her hard work and accomplishments, and know your Oma and Opa in heaven are smiling ear-to-ear watching you. 


May you and your sister Minna go from blessing to blessing and strength to strength. 


And thank you Hashem for all your loving-kindness.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Graduation Day

Graudation
So proud of Minna graduating from University of Maryland today. 



And in only 3 1/2 years…record time, while she worked an internship too.



With a major in communication, please G-d she will go out as the keynote speaker said, “the glue that mends broken dialogue” in society.  



Communications comes from community…from marketing and branding to public relations and diplomacy, communications is key in everything we do from vetting ideas, innovating, decision making, teamwork, and even social media. 



Lots of luck in your future and may Hashem bless you in all that you do.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Becoming Technological Dinosaurs?

Tech_camp

I was most impressed at the graduation of my daughter from Tech Camp today.

She became fairly proficient with Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, and more, and built her own website with animation–it was really very cool.

Here is a photo of kids at the computers–they are showing their parents how totech.

It is truly the young teaching the old–no disrespect intended.

But the kids are amazing–they are digital natives and are learning things quickly and with ease that prior generations still must struggle with.

I jokedwith my friend who is also a CIO of another company–that we are not only “old farts,” but tech dinosaurs as well. 😉

Okay not quite–but what these kids can do is nothing short of amazing, eye-opening, and I think “we ain’t seen nothing yet!”