My letter to you,

If you’re ready for “real”, read further. If you aren’t, I advise not to, because I’m about to speak a truth you may not want to hear or believe, but nevertheless it is absolute truth.

Some of you are going to graduate and accomplish something most won’t. I stand and applaud your accomplishment. You’ll be asking yourself these questions when you do. “Now that I have a degree, what’s next?” or “Will I just be handed a job?” Or ,“Will I be next in line to run a big company?” You may think you have the answer, but you don’t.

You’ll be scared to death to hit the real world. The obstacles that you’re going to face are bigger than you thought. The competition will be fiercer than ever and now you’ll be judged for every move you make, and more so for the ones that you DON’T MAKE.

I’ll give you 3 free pieces of advice that will help you excel instantly, regardless of any degree or title… Stay humble. Work harder than the rest. And lift everyone around you up always! If… wait…. I mean WHEN you do this, you’re going to create more opportunities than any college degree will ever give you. Don’t get me wrong. It’s amazing you have a degree, but there’s going to be many with and without that are fighting for the same spot and will do almost anything to obtain it. Be ready. Be willing. Be aware of what’s coming next.

Then, some of you are going to drop out or not even begin college. You’ll be questioning your future. Did I make the right choice? Do I have what it takes? Do I need a degree to be successful? Will anyone take me seriously without one? How can I educate myself to be more without school? Well, first let me say… YOU DON’T NEED COLLEGE TO WIN AT LIFE! College, if you want to go, is a bonus. It’s just another way to educate yourself. You can still do this without enrolling into a college. All you need is heart, pure will to survive, determination, the ability to realize your car is a mobile university. You have access to everything you need with today’s technology literally at your fingertips. You just have to take massive action!

But you I promised you truth, so here it is. With or without a degree, life is going to beat you down. It’s going to throw opportunities at you that you’ll grab immediately. Some will flourish and some won’t. What’s the difference between the two? It’s how they cope with fear.

Look, whether you say you’re afraid of something or not, you are period! Don’t think you’re fooling anyone. But it’s how you handle fear that will guarantee your lack of growth or maximize success.

It’s the ability to use fear as a fuel to ignite your passion to levels most won’t reach. Need truth? This will have nothing to do with a degree or without a degree. This will have everything to do with how you handle: judgement, criticism, failure, haters, massive obstacles in life that are designed to test your very will to continue to JUST KEEP GOING! But what most don’t realize, is that the biggest fear in life is what most don’t speak of… and that’s the fear of “winning”.

Yep I said it. The absolute “fear of success”! When you win at any level, you have to always be ready to elevate your game. The more successful you get, the more you’re going to be challenged from every angle of life. There’s going to be people targeting your every word, step you take, and challenge your character, JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING WELL IN LIFE!

This is when you’re truly tested. So here’s where most fail, and where I excelled. I can list my mistakes, but why? They all had to do with not believing in me. When I failed, I came down on myself so hard. It just took me a long time to realize, my failures became my strengths! I couldn’t wait to fail! Most don’t know how to handle the pressure. Anxiety sets in and you start questioning whether to continue. You’ll hear people speak of you and instead of understanding the truth, you’ll want to be loved, get more likes, shares and/or adored for your achievements.

Well, here’s the hard truth, most say they want you to succeed, just not as long as it’s not more than they succeed. Most won’t want you to win. Period! And most of the time it’s the people closest to you that DON’T WANT YOU TO WIN! Family, “close” friends…. etc….

Here’s the solution. Three words… “Always Be You!” Don’t EVER CHANGE! When you fall and people are laughing, get back up until they realize you just don’t quit. When you speak, be unapologetic. Speak your truth, because yours is yours alone and don’t let anyone change your mindset or they win…. simply put, game over.

When you run into a wall of judgment, plow through it with all your might and show the world what you’re made of. When you win, help those that once decided not to help you and prove to be the person you’ve spoken of being.

Live through honesty, integrity, grace and love, but most of all….authenticity. There’s only one you, and your success from this day forward, with or without a college degree, will solely be reliant on your strength to live your passion, not abolishing fear, but using it properly to exceed the expectations of few, to pass on the power of belief in the lives you were meant to touch.

I’ll leave you with this. Repeat after me…. “From this day forward…….” … actually that’s all you need. You finish the rest, because only YOU know what you’re MEANT TO DO. You have no limitations, it’s time. Don’t be afraid of anything, but respect the fear in everything and learn how to become more by utilizing the power it holds!

Here’s to you. God bless and always believe there’s nothing you can’t accomplish!

– Todd Speciale

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