May 5, 2013

“This is Water,” & other Best Commencement Speeches Ever.

Seven Great High School & College Graduation & Commencement Speeches.

A new version of a longer classic:

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” ~ Malcolm Forbes

1. You are not special.

“Before you run off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that expression.

You can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life.

Rather than you only live once, it should be you live only once.”

“You see, if everyone is special, then no one is…if everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement…Before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance…The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.”

2. Naropa University: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/05/video-2012-naropa-university-commencement-2012-please-transform-this-world-please/


11 years of Naropa University Commencement Ceremonies.

3. Stephen Colbert’s inspiring Commencement Speech: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/the-best-commencement-speech-you-havent-yet-seen-stephen-colbert-northwestern/

“You can not win life. Dreams can be stupid. Serve what you love.” (Brothel) ~ Colbert

4. Conan O’Brien’s classic Commencement Speech: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/01/conan-obriens-commencement-speech-to-his-harvard-video/

5. J.K. Rowling’s Commencement Speech: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/12/jk-rowlings-harvard-commencement-speech/

“External expectations, all pride, fear of embarrassment or failure—these things fall away in the face of death.”

6. Steve Jobs’ Classic Commencement Speech: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/02/steve-jobs-the-buddhist-four-reminders/

7. Paul Hawken’s Commencement Speech.

Bonus, via the Washington Post: “The 10 things they really don’t tell you at graduation.”

“Jim Carrey delivered a commencement speech to MUM and he said “I did something that made people present their best selves to me where ever I go.” I found it very profound. Whole speech was excellent.

“So many of us choose our path out of fear, disguised as practicality.” Damn, Jim, that truth resonates.
Thank you for posting this. I agree the whole speech is excellent. An unexpected motivational boost.”

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