Zack’s Valedictorian Speech

Dear Diary …

Graduation season is here once again as a bunch of fresh-faced new grads head out into the world. And when you’re at your graduation ceremony, you get to hear a nice little speech from your Valedictorian. And that’s all well and good … but really … what the heck do they know?

OK … they know a lot because they’re wicked smart, but when it comes to LIFE, they don’t know any more than you do. Sure … they kicked your butt in math, but in actual life experience you both have a long way to go.

Lucky for you … I’m here. Your grizzled old King Zack. I’ve done stuff and seen stuff. And most importantly, I have a microphone so you have to listen to me.

To be clear … I’m dumb. That’s one thing I’ve figured out for sure over the years. You know how you think you know everything right now and have your life totally figured out? Yeah … none of that is actually gonna turn out that way.

And you know what? Let’s go ahead and make that lesson on here in King Zack’s Valedictorian speech …

1. Stuff is gonna go sideways.

A lot.

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out … you’re gonna get fired, or dumped, or a tree’s gonna fall on part of your roof, or whatever. The point is … crap’s gonna go down.

But here’s the kicker … that’s the stuff that’s gonna make you turn into the successful badass you wanna be. Have you ever heard a success story from a really rich or famous person and heard them say, “Yeah I’ve never really had to face any kind of adversity and just got really successful very easily?” No. No you have not.

So when the stuff goes sideways, don’t sit there and whine about how it’s “not fair” and “I never win anything.” Because I promise you this … if you talk like that, they you will never win anything. But if you use your failure as an inspiration for the next success, you’ll become the person you wanna be.

2. Right now … you are the least busy you’ll ever be again in your entire life

Now I know you’re gonna disagree with me right now and you’re gonna say, “But I’m so busy with graduation, and family stuff, and my summer job, and blah blah blah.” I get it. I didn’t say you WEREN’T busy, but the simple fact is … at every new phase in your life you’re gonna be even busier.

Five years from now it’s gonna be a big project at work, and planning a wedding, and trying to buy a new house.

And five years from then it’s gonna be dealing with a new baby, and trying to sell your house, and your Mom keeps asking when you’re coming to visit, and boss needs you to go to St. Louis.

And five years from then it’s t-ball practice, and dance recitals, and church, and family, and that business you started, etc etc etc.

You get the point.

I just know that every single time I look back on my life five years ago I think, “Man I had so much more free time back then compared to today.” And i know again, five years from now I’m gonna think the same thing about today.

So what does that mean? That means enjoy today and live in the moment, cuz it’s actually not as crazy as you think.

And finally Diary …

3. Live life

And when I say this, I mean live it thru your actual eyeballs, and not the camera on your phone. Far too many times when I go to a concert or an event or something do I see people watching the entire thing through the camera lens of their phone.

What’s the point?

“Oh but I wanna remember this for the future.”

OK fine, but if you weren’t really paying attention to it in the present, were you REALLY ever actually there?

If you’re gonna watch it thru a screen, then you might as well stay home and watch somebody else film it on YouTube. It’s a lot cheaper that way anyway.

OK grads … that’s it. Now go out there and make me proud. Or at the very least don’t embarrass me. JEEZ!!!!

Till next time Diary, I say goodbye.