A huge Nuge congratulation is in order to all the 2013 college and high school graduates across the land. You should be very proud of yourselves for a job well done.
More important than well deserved congratulations is my Uncle Ted Rock Solid proven advice to the millions of young people ready to charge forth into their new independent lives.
You will not get the following advice from your parents, professors, or government wonks. This advice comes from a lifetime of incredible sweat, sacrifice, and indefatigable dogged determination to be the best musician and person that I can. I still practice my guitar each day with a fiery passion.
Know that your handsome diploma means little to the producers out here. What matters to us most is a projection of positive, sincere buoyancy, tireless work ethic and a gung-ho commitment to be the absolute best that you can be. Unless you have these characteristics, we don’t want or need you. Keep your toothbrush at mommy and daddy’s house. You’re not going anywhere.
No one owes you. You are not entitled to anything except an opportunity, a chance to succeed. What you do with opportunity is up to you.
Everything comes from effort. You will only get what you put into it. Success comes to those who get up an hour earlier and stay an hour later and do a better job with fewer of no sick days.
Identify your professional brass ring and then get after it like a hungry animal. Push yourself to the point of exhaustion. And then push yourself harder.
Achieving success will require tremendous sacrifice. The question you need to ask yourself is: how bad do I want it?
You will be required to constantly prove your worth. Successful companies jettison the bottom ten percent of their work force every year. Average performance will not cut it. I have never hired an average bass player to be in my band or an average anybody.
Competition is fierce in the white water rapids of the marketplace no matter what profession you choose. Surpassing the competition brings happiness and success.
If someone pays you a dollar, give them ten dollars in effort. Following this simple credo will ensure you are never without employment.
Don’t whine and complain. No one respects or likes those who bitch. The producers are looking for people who identify problems and then get after fixing them with dogged persistence.
There are no guarantees. None. Read that again.
Life is going to knock you down. When it does, get back up. When you are going through Hell, do not stop and take pictures.
Luck is luck. Never count it. Believe in yourself and your God-given talents. Constantly practice maximizing those talents. Hone them to a razor sharp edge and never give up.
No kid has ever had a goal to grow up and be a paper-pushing bureaucrat. Do what motivates you.
Do not chase money. Money will find you if you are the best at what you do.
Associate with other incredibly talented and smart ass kickers. They are the ones who will make a difference and become successful. Whatever you do, stay away from dopers, drunks, whiners, losers, occupiers, lumps, naysayers, procrastinators, and mouth-breathers. They are on the road to nowhere or worse.
On your way to the top, lend a hand to the guy behind you who deserves it and pull him up with you.
Find a hobby outside of work to recharge your batteries. Nothing beats the great outdoors. It will cleanse the soul.
Get after life with a vengeance. Sometimes you give the world the best you got, and you get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you got anyway.