Globe University / Minnesota School of Business Graduating Class of 2010:
When preparing tonight’s speech, I couldn’t pick simply one quote to start with. I want to give you five, key, pieces of wisdom to inspire and empower you to create a life for yourself like you’ve never imagined.
“Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.” ~ Wendy Wasserstein
You’re sitting here tonight because of a thought that occurred to you years ago, you should finish your education. For years, people have taught you how to solve equasions. You’re entering the world with a set of eyes that will now tell you that you can solve the problem anyway you see fit, as long as the results are positive. A good friend once told me that life was about aquisition and loss. This friend couldn’t have been any more true, except for one major point: Life, real life- is about the in-betweens of aquisition and loss. The moments in which deciding factors bear the weight of outcomes and the moments of indecision. There are two different types of people in the world: Those that submit to the belief that life owns then and those that refuse to submit themselves to another’s expectations. Today’s brightest leaders are revolutionaries. And their equasions have all been solved through strategic and creative thought and the courage to take a risk.
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle
I have a gift for you. But to accept the gift you need to choose between two things. With a show of hands, I’d like to see: How many graduates and audience members would love to have a list of businesses who are hiring? …… Now, how many of you would like to know how to bypass the application systems, the locked doors and the frustration of job searching? …… Graduating Class? I’d like to introduce you to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. My gift to you is a handout that will explain exactly how to utilize social media for your search and what 3, key aspects of yourself to bring online. I do not want to give you another door to walk through: I want to give you the shortcut to establishing a solid presence online and strategic networking to make your dreams possible. You are going to offer 3 things online: Authenticity, Integrity and your WHOLE selves. Who wouldn’t want to hire that? You are the key to the door. Who you are, and what you have to offer will unlock limitless possibilities, but only if you have the courage to stand up online and say, “I am who you are looking for.”
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ M. Scott Peck
There is going to be a moment, at 2am or 3pm on an idle Friday where you wonder, “did I make the right decision?” In that moment, your only job is to remember: No one who has done anything worthwhile has done so without a risk. No one who has accomplished anything great has had a perfect life. Your weaknesses? Are your greatest strengths. Your life story has meaning, credibility and inspiration- but only if you speak it outloud. Your finest moments- the life changers and revolutionary first steps only can begin when you are ready to stop being a part of the status quo, and start being REAL. Who you are when the computer is off, when the door is closed and when the lights are out is more important than any job title, financial statement or public record. The moment you find yourself first, the success will follow.
“Your experiences are not limited to what you have created in the past.” ~ Gary Zukav
This is one of the most profound truths that no one is talking about. If who we were defined us, the evolution of who we are as a society would never have made it this far. This morning, I volunteered at an event for recent immigrants. One, individual in particular changed my perception so much, that I changed tonight’s speech to include his story. He has only been here for 3 months and he is a Medical Director and Professor from Cuba. He left everyone, including a beautiful wife and two children under the age of 6, to create a new life for himself and eventually a new beginning for his family. Here was a man, who had been making one of the largest sums of money in his country, and was asking if I knew of a job washing floors or packing orders in a warehouse. I told him then, that although we all start somewhere, his passion for creating a better life was one of the most humbling experiences I had ever witnessed. I cried almost the entire way home imagining the humility it took for him to sleep on the floor and beg for the scraps of jobs no others want. He simply told me, “I can create myself new.”
“Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.” ~ Joss Whedon
Revolutionaries have found passion and are drawn to create a life around it. You are now joining the prestigious ranks of those ahead of you who have carved out their own lives and created an irreversable tital wave in the world: You are a revolutionary. Congratulations, class of 2010. Stand up and give yourself a round of applause.