So Long! Farewell! Auf Wiedersehen! Goodnight!
That was the infamous signoff from the Von Trapp children in the Sound of Music which seemed appropriate as I thought about a title for my comments as I depart ACEL as a faculty member for the last time. There are too few words in my vocabulary to express the gratitude that I have for ACEL. I have devoted over 16 years to the department and have many fond memories to take with me as I depart.
After serving as a department chair for nearly eight years and a faculty member for the last eight years, there are words of advice that I would offer to the faculty, students, and staff in the department. My advice is based on three quotes that I have guided my thoughts and actions over the last several years.
All good things come to those who wait; as long as you work hard while you wait. My father in law (Delwyn Stromer) used this phrase often to emphasize the importance of hard work. Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Working hard will help you achieve your goals more than anything else.
You can get what you want, if you help enough others get what they want! Zig Ziglar believed that individual success was primarily dependent upon the time and effort we devote to helping others succeed. We need to focus of helping those around us to achieve success, if we want to achieve success ourselves.
You can have anything you want, but not everything you want! My wife (Pam Birkenholz) advises her financial planning clients that through effective planning, people can achieve nearly anything they desire. However, the choice to pursue one goal (or make one purchase), often limits our ability or potential to pursue other goals or make other purchases. Therefore, it is imperative that we clearly define our values and goals to make sure we focus on what is most important to us.
My departing wish for each member of our ACEL community is to use these quotes to guide your thoughts and actions in the future. I sincerely believe these quotes have contributed to my personal and professional success and know that they can do the same for each of you.
Robert J. Birkenholz