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“Success is for those who know what they want and go after it, no matter how difficult the path.” Jacques Nasser, President and CEO Ford Motor Company

Succinct. Powerful. And spot-on for anyone at any age.

This advice, from Ford Motor Company President and CEO Jacque Nasser, is particularly perfect for all the graduates who are about to make their way in the world. The path to success, no matter how you define it, is going to be littered with obstacles.  None of them are insurmountable if you have a clear vision of what you want and the determination that nothing can stop you from getting there.

For the new grads, their launching pad is college. I’ll be the first to say I’m a bad alumna. I haven’t been back on either of my undergrad or graduate school campuses since the day I graduated. Yet, I know that these places established the foundation on which I’ve built my career and my life.

It’s important to have a firm foundation, but it’s equally important to allow yourself some flexibility. In other words, you have to be able to make some course corrections along the way. Otherwise, when you reach one of those seemingly insurmountable obstacles, you’ll just keep pounding your head against it.

I’m fond of this set-your-course analogy: You’re going to California. You’re not yet sure if you’re heading for San Diego or San Francisco – but since you’re only in Omaha, you’ve got some time to decide without making a fatal error. (In other words, you have a lot of time before you hit the Pacific Ocean.)

No matter where you are in life, there’s still time to set your course. Just be sure you know what you want when you get there.