David Ulrich: Seek autonomy, mastery, purpose in life, 2019 Moffat County grads | CraigDailyPress.com

David Ulrich: Seek autonomy, mastery, purpose in life, 2019 Moffat County grads

David Ulrich
Courtesy photo

Congratulations, 2019 Moffat County High School graduates! 

I join the MCSD Board of Education, your family, and the entire Moffat County community in expressing our pride in your accomplishments. You each have the potential to achieve great things. As you move through the next stage of your life, it is my sincere hope that you will take the knowledge and skills you have learned during your time at MCHS and apply them to your post-secondary choices. 

Specifically, we want you to seek autonomy, mastery, and purpose in whatever role you fulfill. 

The concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose are defined in the book “Drive,” by Daniel Pink. According to the author, autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the pillars of intrinsic motivation. 

Autonomy is the desire to direct your own life. Seek out opportunities that allow you to accomplish something meaningful. Look for ways to complete tasks where success is measured not by rewards, but by the process and product completion. 

According to Dr. Pink, this will lead to “higher self-esteem, better relationships, and overall better mental and physical health.” 

In conjunction with autonomy, strive to achieve mastery in your chosen role. Mastery is a mindset. What you believe shapes what you achieve. Whether your post-secondary choice is the military, college, technical school, joining the workforce, or raising a family, always maintain your desire to get better and better! 

Solving complex problems requires an inquiring mind and the willingness to experiment to find fresh solutions to problems. Make no mistake, mastery requires effort, but, as Dr. Pink writes, striving for mastery is the oxygen of the soul and necessary for psychological health. 

Finally, find your purpose. Do something that matters! Do it well! Do it in service to a cause larger than yourself! Search out opportunities to work for organizations to focus on purpose not on profit. 

Tap into the deep desire within you to make the world a better place. For some, your purpose is known and your path is clear. For others, it will take time. 

Keep asking the question, “What is my passion?” Your purpose is not something you need to make up; it’s already there. Keep searching to uncover it to create the life you want.  

Striving to achieve mastery, autonomy and purpose may take you far from Craig, or you might find it right here. Wherever life takes you, always remember your home and the people who have supported you in a reaching this, one of life’s significant milestones. Your educators, families, and community have prepared you for great things. 

Now, go show the world that every day is a great day to be a Bulldog! 


David Ulrich, Ed.D., Moffat County School District Superintendent 

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