I hope you had a fantastic Halloween and either got a lot of candy or were able to spend it doing something you really enjoyed! A few friends from my hometown came to visit during this time and it made me really realize how far I have come since middle and high school. We are not completely different people, but a more refined and developed version of ourselves. We have picked up life lessons, made mistakes, and gained the wisdom to see where our true inspirations lie.
Especially as an undergraduate senior, I have looked more and more into commencement speeches and speakers to not only improve my presenting abilities, but to learn how some of the leaders in the world think. What I found was exceptionally stunning. I did not find too many commencement speeches that I felt were profound as many of the core messages revolved around the same topic–that it was the graduating class’ job to enact change in the world and be proactive after college, that this was just the beginning, the jumping off point if you will. However, what separated the speeches were the speakers themselves and the eloquence of their deliveries. With a similar message, the speaker now had to find a unique, but personal way to present the content in a way that it could inspire the audience and those looking on. This is where I saw the true thought process. While some took more logical approaches and presented the content in a way that you cannot waste the education you have received, others linked certain thought patterns or experiences in their lives with that of the graduating class. Here are some of the speeches I thought were particularly well-done.
Some key take-aways I found by interweaving each of the exceptional commencement speeches together was that we must seek out our own individual passions. When we find them, we no longer need to be a Jack-of-All-Trades. We have found what we are good at and the method where we can contribute the most to society. In this sense, “There is no Plan B, as it only muddles Plan A.” This paired with John Legends infectious presentation of love shows that as much as we can develop different skills for our tool box, some things are just inherent to us. He said, ” We live our best lives, we are at our most successful, not simply because we’re smarter than everyone else, or because we hustle harder. The key to success, the key to happiness, is opening your mind and your heart to love. Spending your time doing things you love and with people you love.” On this note, I invite you to check out these commencement speeches as an avenue for inspiration and clarity as to what you want to get out of college and ultimately life. All good vibes!
John Legend [Music Industry]:
Deepak Malhotra [Harvard]: