Okay, you’ve graduated. Commencement is over. But how will the rest of your life commence?
You could start with the advice here, distilled from over one hundred graduation speeches given by people who have been at the crossroads, like you, but have achieved enough success to be invited as commencement speakers. Your advisory board includes artists, academics, authors, and actors; presidents, poets, politicians, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and community activists. They have won Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, Presidential and Olympic Gold medals, as well as Oscars and Emmys.
In researching the best advice from these august speakers, we have discovered a variety of recommendations. Sometimes the suggestions are contradictory; sometimes they reach a similar conclusion but through different channels. We have carefully paired the advice for you to review and judge. (You are, after all, the graduate.)
From now on, you get to choose your own adventure. You decide what to make (Neil Gaiman) or what to wreck (John Waters); whether your perspective on the challenges of the environment is global (Paul Hawken) or personal (Kermit the Frog); and what you can learn from your failures (Conan O’Brien). Consider Russell Baker’s ten ways to avoid making the world worse, David McCullough’s list of what to read instead of watching television, the rules of success shared by self-made billionaire Robert F. Smith, and Ellen DeGeneres’ suggestion of the best path
Congratulations for being in a position to try out different paths and figure out where you want to go. And along the way you might just pick up enough wisdom to get your own invitation to be a commencement speaker someday.Carpe every diem.
Copyright © 2021 by Robie Rogge. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.