On meaning, praise, and gratefulness
On meaning Though you should be trying a bit harder to identify a long-term goal at this point in your life, you should not grow frustrated when it is not quickly revealed to you. Answers to tough questions don't come easy, especially questions pertaining to your life as a whole...is that so bad? Therefore focus on the work you do on a daily basis and rest easy knowing that you did the truly right thing that day and every day following. Admire the process more than anyone else and you will reap the rewards more than anyone else—despite the fact that you were the least focused on the reward itself. Your life will not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. This is a comforting fact—one that makes all of your egotistical chase for legacy irrelevant and makes your day to day impact all the more important.
On praise Develop the ability to hear praise and politely ignore it. Praise is fleeting and so is the positive feeling you get when you are praised. Do not praise yourself as a replacement for the praise of others. On the day that you begin to take praise and direct it to the part of your brain which is supposed to reasonable, you will discover how unreasonable you can be. To believe in your own success according to others is also to change your standard to fit someone else's. You did all of the work prior to this point with no ounce of praise in sight. Now that you get to hear positivity about what you do, nothing should change. Your work continues, and it must continue to be great no matter what.
On gratefulness Despite the fact that praise in a reasonable man is to mean little, this does not mean that you should be outwardly disputatious towards those who truly are proud of you and care to see you succeed. Take equal care to appreciate those who are supportive and loving of you and your projects. Do this by loving them and appreciating them. You are not indulging in their praise by doing this—you are simply returning to them what is rightfully theirs. The love and appreciation they so generously gave to you.
On maintaining relationships As your setting changes, the people you put yourself around will change as well. The revolving door of acquaintances and friends is natural, though there are some that should never leave your acquaintance. Few of your friends now are worth speaking to later, and of those, few will ever have the initiative to reach out to you rather than the other way around. This is not due to malicious intent. If you desire to be around these people still, take responsibility for the task and actively make the effort to speak to them. Do not mistake inaction on the other end as rejection. Make it your pleasure to maintain relationships even when it is difficult to do so.