Go Ahead… Start Something!


If you’re going to start something, make sure you’re ready.

Unless there is an emergency, it’s just not smart to start something until you’re ready. That’s why “ready” and “set” come before “go.”
And that is why an opportunity can actually be an invitation to a disaster. Most opportunities do not make appointments. If you are not ready when they arrive, your chances of success will be quite slim.

But even the best preparation does not always assure success. It can, however, give you the confidence to start whatever you are about to do. Author and corporate consultant, Idowu Koyenikan, once said, “Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.”

So what opportunities are you ready for today? I’m not asking you about the opportunity you’ve been hoping for, but the one you’ve been preparing for.

If that prompts you wonder, even for a moment, about your readiness, the next question has to be: What are you really doing right now to meet the opportunity that you are waiting for?

This week, your Jamestown Gazette’s Annual Graduation Issue is here to introduce you to the young people in our communities who are actually ready to start something. After all, graduation means they have been preparing for whatever it is for at least the last 12 years.

So, if graduation seems merely a blessed, way overdue relief from classrooms and assignments, demanding teachers and stifling homework… if it isn’t the beginning of what comes next, it has only been a waste of time.

If that describes you or someone you know, then as you walk out the high school doors for the last time, at least say Thank You to the taxpayers whose investment you plan to waste.

That is the whole point of graduation. It is not the end of something. It is the beginning of everything. If you are one of the new graduates, all the years of work behind you are the preparation for the opportunities ahead of you.

Congratulations to the 2018 graduates. You have earned your summer vacation and your excitement about enjoying a well-earned break. But while you are enjoying it all, take just a minute to take an inventory of what you have now.

You have stored up a lot of knowledge, sharpened many of your skills and made at least a few friends you will keep for the rest of your life. That is a wonderful inventory, a very tall stack of preparation. Now it is time to ask the most important question your teachers probably never told you to ask: “So What?”

What will you do with it all? What has it prepared you to start?

Parents, friends and loved ones, if you know or have a new graduate in your life, ask them those questions yourself. Graduation is not the end of anything, it is the beginning of everything.

To paraphrase Matshona Dhliwayo, a Canadian based philosopher, entrepreneur and author, “Be like the flowers of summer that don’t have to be reminded when the time to bloom is near; you have been preparing for it all of your life.”

Graduates, enjoy your summer, get ready to start something great, and just for now, please enjoy the read right here in your Jamestown Gazette.

— Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.