Best 10 Graduation Speeches - Inspirational Words of Wisdom
Summary: Who was your commencement speaker? Who would be your dream celeb to give one? While it’s time for graduation again, let’s have a look at the can’t miss graduation speeches of all time.
Graduation speech is the highlight of a commencement.
But......not many people actually remember what the speaker said.
While you’re heading to commencement, believe me, you’d care more about if the ill-fitting gown makes you look fat or the cap ruins your haircut.
Even when you get the seat, you’re still distracted by something else.
So I select the top 10 most influential commencement speeches for you. It’s never late to get words of wisdom.
1. STEVE JOBS
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Text of Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech
2. SHERYL SANDBERG
It’s the hard days - the days that challenge you to your very core - that determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but how you survive.
When the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it.
Transcript of Sheryl Sandberg’s Commencement Address
3. David Foster Wallace
Learning how to think' really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech Text
4. JIM CARREY
Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself.
Now fear is going to be a player in life, but you get to decide how much.
You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all it will ever be is what’s happening here, the decisions in that we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.
Graduation Speech Transcript: Jim Carrey at the Maharishi University 2016
5. J.K. ROWLING
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.
Text of J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech
6. NAVAL ADMIRAL WILLIAM H. MCRAVEN
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made - that you made - and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
Remarks by Adm. McRaven at UT Commencement
7. NEIL GAIMAN
Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you'll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.
And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.
Speech Transcript: Neil Gaiman Addressed to Class of 2012
8. ANDY SAMBERG
But in the days ahead a lot of people will tell you to trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take chances, and I am definitely one of those people. But I would also say this: don’t rush into the next phase of your life whether it’s grad school at Harvard or grad school at MIT or massively disappointing your parents by exploring your art made out of garbage thing. Whatever it is you try, make sure it’s what you really want to do because the only person who knows what that is, is you.
Andy Samberg’s Harvard Graduation Speech Transcript
9. ELLEN DEGENERES
For many of you, today, success is being able to hold down 20 shots of tequila. For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not to give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not, to live your life as an honest and compassionate person, to contribute in some way.
Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else's path unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.
Ellen DeGeneres Graduation Speech Transcript
10. TIM MINCHIN
Don’t Seek Happiness. Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect.
Respect people with less power then you. I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful. So there.
Full Transcript: Tim Minchin's Graduation Speech
Do you like these speeches? Whatever you’re high school graduates or collage graduates, you’re a bit closer to the real world. These compelling words may make a difference to your life.
Even if you’ve graduated for many years, you can still gain something from these great minds.
Anyway, all these commencement addresses are worth for you to watch the whole thing!