Much has changed in the world since I graduated from college almost 25 years ago. As I work with people today, I encourage them to recognize three things. First, we operate in a truly global economy. Second, success in our global business society requires collaboration and communication. And finally,
change is constant.

With these underlying items, I suggest the following guidelines for people as they navigate their careers, as well as their lives:

Learn to Life in the Gray. In life today, there is rarely a yes or no answer for every situation. Choices aren’t always black and white. Recognize that much of life is lived in the gray, and those who learn to manage and live in this space will be the happiest.

Write Down Your Goals. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to establish goals and write them down. I started writing my goals about the time I finished college. Personally, I find it a very powerful tool to create focus and energy toward accomplishing what you really want to do.

Follow Your Passion. Sometimes it may be a trial and error process to find your true calling. Just keep moving in the direction of things you like to do most. If you are passionate about what you’re doing, there is a good chance you will be successful at it.

Maintain Balance in Your Life. This piece of advice is easy to give, but often hard to follow. Make time to do things that are important to you, whether they relate to your career, your friends, your family, your faith, or your service to the community. Define your life not by what you are, but by who you are.

Give Something Back. I believe we each have a responsibility to our community, our nation and the planet. I encourage every individual to accept this responsibility and to give something back. How you choose to do it is up to you: you can give of your time, your treasure or your talent.

It is the fundamental philosophy of giving back that I use most often. It can be easy at times to forget we have much to be thankful for; by challenging myself to give something back, I’m able to stay better connected to a sense of gratefulness.