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How do you define Success?

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Last weekend I went to the Cal Poly commencement ceremony, where a notable young woman spoke. It resonated so strongly with me that I want to give her words a voice in my newsletter.

Tess Laurie, Student body president of Cal Poly's College of Architecture and Environmental Design & ASI president.

Read a quote from a book by David Orr

Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World.

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people, but it does desperately need more peacemakers, healer, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places, it needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world a more habitable and humane place, and these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."

She then added:

"What strikes me is that, at CalPoly, all of us get really really wrapped up in this idea of success, and a lot of times it hurts us because we are willing to sacrifice our health and well-being, and our relationships, and our time to look and be and feel successful.

We are prone to burning ourselves out and running ourselves into the ground, because we've been so trained to fear failing publicly and we're supposed to be constantly and publicly successful.

I don't know about y'all , but I am sure that's a pretty exhausting expectation!

My hope for us, class of 2022, it that we are gonna do better than obsess over being successful in our futures.

I hope that we focus on checking in on other people constantly.

I hope we normalize offering resources, time, and space to process when people need it.

I hope that we offer other people love and grace even when it seems like they haven't earned it.

And I hope that we stand up for what's right and work to change what's unjust.

My hope is that if we center ourselves around these values we'll know what it means to be truly successful, and that's successful in building a world that promotes love, kindness, healing, creativity, and grace."

From the mouth of our future generation of adults, thank you Tess for your words of wisdom.#success #definesuccess #tesslauriespeach #tesslaurie #davidOrr


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