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Get Inspired by These 5 Moving Commencement Speeches

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Summary: Our weekly routines could use some motivation from these five powerful speeches delivered by inspiring entrepreneurs and celebrities at graduation commencement ceremonies.

The only time to get inspired by graduating from college is not just during the actual ceremony. The growth and self-discovery experienced in college once-in-a-lifetime but you can still take some of it for extra inspiration. All of that experience gets thrown into the graduation speeches so that you can feel just a glimpse of what it is like each time. You can listen to commencement speeches whenever you need a little pick-me-up. These five speeches are especially motivating because let’s face it, our mundane work-week schedules could probably use a little extra motivation from those that have overcome obstacles to make it to the big time.

Dartmouth College speech by Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien, being the comic that he is, delivered a speech filled with humor mixed with a little advice for life. As he put it, “Today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” His speech is easy to listen to or read but filled with important points about failure during our lives.

Wellesley College speech by Chimamanda Nzogi Adichie

The highly-acclaimed writer of Americanah delivers a charming speech with life lessons amongst adversity.  She firmly believes in standing up for oneself, “Please do not twist yourself into shapes to place. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.”

Stanford University speech by Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs explains three stories during his speech to teach the graduates about recovery, loss, and finding a job that you love. Even though he never graduated from college himself, he does not regret the path he took. As he says, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.”

Harvard University speech by Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is highly successful now as an entrepreneur but she had a lot of bumps along the way. She attributes her success to hard work and faith in herself. Oprah says, “No matter what challenges or setbacks or disappointments you may encounter along the way, you will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal, there really is only one, and that is this: to fulfill the highest more truthful expression of yourself as a human being.”

Tulane University speech by Ellen DeGeneres

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres is experiencing success like never before but getting to this point was no easy feat. She overcame obstacles such as coming out. She delivers her speech with wit and humor to show that everyone has a purpose. Ellen states, “For me, the most import 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.”

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Get Inspired by These 5 Moving Commencement Speeches by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin