Dr. Val Farmer
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Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

A Message For 2010 Graduates

May 10, 2010

What is a powerful idea? It is an idea that if understood and lived has great power to change people’s lives. As a graduation message I am including some of the powerful ideas I’ve learned to appreciate.

On work and success.

* Success at work is no substitute for happiness in the home.

* Success has a price. You will have to pay the price of success long before you experience rewards or the recognition of others. The price of success is hard work.

* What is truly worthwhile takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts to greatness.

* Find a need and fill it with quality. Your product or service will not sell itself. You have to do it.

* Discover the joys of compound interests and avoid its pitfalls.

* Do quickly and well what you ask other’s to do. It will give you moral authority in leadership.

* Other people know more than you think. Respect others’ wisdom and ideas.

* Love learning. All your life. There is so much to learn.

* Learn to be a team player. There is great power when committed people work together for common goals.

* Be generous with your praise and recognition of other's efforts and accomplishments. Rejoice in others’ successes.

* Be a self-starter. Don’t wait to be told what to do.

* Put first things first. Start with the end in mind.

* True solutions lie in solving other people’s problems as you solve your own.

On relationships, communications and marriage.

Make your greetings and farewells special.

Be the first one to give love. Love creates love in others. It is easy to love someone who is loving you.

Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love is consistent loving actions, not a feeling.

First, listen to understand. Then reply.

How people feel about you after talking through a disagreement is more important than any solution you obtain.

Other people do not make you angry. You make yourself angry by your own thoughts and assumptions.

Be careful not to interrupt others’ thoughts before they feel understood. Put your own agenda aside and really listen when others are talking.

Be kind to strangers. Don’t be so busy that you fail to the needs of people who cross your path.

What you say with your eyes, face, body posture and tone of voice is powerful communication.

Be easy to get along with. Be easy-going. Don't sweat the small stuff.

We gain self-control by the decisions and commitments we make in advance.

Be quick to apologize and willing to forgive.

On morality, values and spiritual growth.

True happiness comes through service to others.

Sexual relations are sacred. They are meant to strengthen the bonds of love and affection in matrimony. Outside of marriage, they have destructive consequences.

What you pay attention to and how you spend your money tell what you value. There is too much in this world that is not worthy of your time or your money.

Cultivate your faith and your faith will sustain you during times of trial and difficulty. There is a power beyond yourself that waits to bless you if you will only ask.

The price for peaceful conscience is obedience to the truth you know and the spiritual laws of life.

Wickedness never brings happiness.

Your body is a precious and marvelous gift. Do not take risks with it, either by harmful substances or by putting yourself in harm’s way.

Don’t become a law unto yourself. Know and understand that there is a God and that you are accountable.

People are more important than things.

Don’t sacrifice your integrity to achieve the approval of others. Have courage to stand up for what is right, even if it costs you dearly.

Your word is your bond.

When you cheat, you are only cheating yourself.

Don’t look for the easy way. It is by doing hard things that we grow.