Have you ever considered what a monumental task it is to give a graduation commencement address?
How do you condense the wisdom of your experience over the past 10, 20, 30, 40+ years of your career into a 15 minute speech for people who are just getting started?
I honestly cannot remember WHO gave the commencement address for either of my graduations and most certainly do not remember WHAT words of wisdom they shared.
But, if there was an example of a near perfect commencement address, I think that Oprah Winfrey’s speech at Colorado College would be that example.
It’s about 15 minutes long. You can listen to it here:
Start where you are: Oprah talks about getting ANY job. Not your dream job. A job. Even if you hate it or it’s not “the ONE” that you’ve been dreaming of. All steps lead you to the next thing in your life that will help you create the path made or you.
*And for those of you who heard about the gift of student loan repayment at the Morehouse graduation, you will also love Oprah’s response about why she didn’t do the same.
If you are feeling down, uninspired, hopeless or burned out, I encourage you to listen to the speech with fresh ears. Remember that every step on the path is important, failure hurts, everything is working out for you, and you have no idea what your legacy will be.
And, you can never read too many books!
Congratulations to the Class of 2019
(including my very own brother who just graduated from University of Virginia’s Law School).
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Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT is an experienced child and family therapist and public speaker who specializes in trauma, ADHD, and conduct problems. Discover more about her diverse clinical background and family. Reach out to Jennifer with questions or comments by emailing at email@example.com
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