A long line of commencement speeches have warned graduates that success in the real world requires unlearning key things they learned in college. Here are six such things:
1. Do not blame your lack of success on your race, class, gender, sexual orientation, what your parents did to you, or the evil capitalist system. It's usually not as true as you think and to the extent it is, thinking about that will disempower you and make you more likely to fail. Winners focus on working hard and smart, and when the inevitable failures occur, simply ask themselves what they can learn from it and move on. Wallowing is unacceptable; that would merely make you descend deeper into a quicksand of inertia. I know many Holocaust survivors and the ones who spent a lot of time "processing" it, often stayed stuck for a lifetime. Usually, the ones who moved on, well, moved on to a better life.
2. Dabbling is death. To succeed in the real world requires sustained focus on becoming the go-to guy or gal in something marketable.
3. Working smart is not enough. Today, you must work smart and long or you'll likely be viewed as expendable or relegated to low-level jobs. Don't worry. Working lot at what you're good at and toward an ethical goal will likely feel more rewarding than a more recreation-heavy life.
4. The most important skill you didn't learn in college is ethics. Sure, the professors may have preached ethics but by biasing their instruction to the left, their actions demonstrate that they value brainwashing you over exposing you to the full range of benevolently derived wisdom. Not all wisdom resides left of center. Too, professors not giving an automatic F in a course to a student caught cheating lets the other students know that ethics don't matter much to professors. In truth, cheaters usually win in the college and career games but lose in the most important game, the game of life: When you die, how much good or bad net impact you've had on the world. Want to get inspired? Read about Gandhi, for example, THIS.
5. The next most important skill they didn't teach you in college is entrepreneurship. You need it whether you're self-employed, working for a corporation, a non-profit, or the government. Well, maybe not the government.
6. Procrastination is career cancer. Professors actually gave you that cancer by allowing you, when you procrastinated studying for that test or doing that paper until the last minute, giving you a good grade. In the real world, except in low-level jobs and in low-level organizations, there's far less grade inflation.