It’s commencement season. Graduates don caps and gowns and are formally recognized for their academic achievement by the confirmation of a degree, or an official title. The famed piece of paper which qualifies one to move on. Graduation is a time of both completion and beginning. It’s been thirty years since my High School graduation. I’ve since gone on to earn two additional degrees and have come to more fully appreciate life’s learning laboratory and perhaps the more common meaning of degree.Miriam Webster’s Dictionary defines degree as:

1: a step or stage in a process, course, or order of classification

One step forward, two steps back, sideways slides and bruised toes, describe my life’s dance so far. Growing older by degree. One step at a time, toward a certain, ever closer end. Hopefully resulting in a Heavenly graduation.

The next degree forward can seem daunting, but as the experiential learning expert’s at Outward Bound like to say, “If you can’t get out of it, get into it!”

Admittedly, I have a Christian biased worldview. I believe in God. I have faith that everything which happens in life can be used for His purpose. We have the ability to be willing participants in His divine plan.

The challenge is we must show up for life’s classes and get to the hard work of learning. All too often the lesson’s subjects seem too horrible to face, frightening to confront, or painfully boring to endure, so I choose to fly to my imagination, opt for procrastination, throw out a well-crafted rationalization, seek distraction or simply give into my natural resistance to change. All this wasted effort and precious time in a vain attempt to avoid feeling, experiencing, processing and dealing with the situation God placed me in a position to learn from. It’s impossible to learn in these resistant states, so God keeps holding me back to repeat the course. If you want to graduate to the next course, you must commence to learn. If you can’t get out of it, get into it and wring out the essence of every life lesson for all its worth. Learn by doing. Refuse to use the word failed and replace it with the word learned.

Is it time to wholeheartedly get into living your life? The class is mandatory, but graduation is voluntary. The creator of the Universe’s University is waiting on your final day of class to say, “Well done good and faithful servant!”

Life…you can’t get out of it, so why not really get into it? If you do, you will be living Fired Up!


About Andrew W Dix, MS, BCC
Author, Board Certified Executive Business Coach, Trainer, Reiss Motivation Profile Master and Private Pilot. Expertise in motivational intelligence, leadership development, strengths, management, coaching, and change management. Available for keynote addresses.

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