My Favorite Commencement Speeches!

graduation

After the pomp and circumstance of commencement ceremonies, grads can finally carve their own path to success! Ceremonies traditionally start off with a speech of congratulations and words of inspiration. As commencement season begins, here are a few of my favorites through the years!

1. Steve Jobs, Standford University, 2005

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.” 

 

2. Shonda RhimesDartmouth College, 2014

Q: "How do you do it all?"

A: "I don't. … If I am at home sewing my kids' Halloween costumes, I'm probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby's first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter's debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh's last scene ever being filmed at Grey's Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off." 

3. Arianna Huffington, Smith College, 2013

"When we’re in that centered place of wisdom, harmony and strength, life is transformed, from struggle to grace, and we are suddenly filled with trust, no matter the obstacles, challenges and disappointments. Because there is a purpose to our lives, even if it is sometimes hidden from us, and even if the biggest turning points and heartbreaks only make sense as we look back, not as we are experiencing them. So we might as well live life as if — as the poet Rumi put it — “Everything is rigged in our favor.” "


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