The season of May to July is always my favorite apart from the fact that it is summertime, but I love this period because it is graduation season for many and even though I am not graduating now, people are, across the world. The best parts of graduations which I love are the commencement speeches. One gets to hear wise words you need as you enter another phase in your life. So today’s post is on 10 Inspiring quotes from this year’s commencements and if you do get time, watch some of the speeches, you will learn a lot.
1.“My dad said, ‘Remember son, if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will.’ So don’t be shy, get out there and do what you need to do.”- Wolf Blitzer (CNN Anchor): As young people, we are filled with ambition and hope; so many great things lie ahead of us. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, sometimes your dream scares you but if you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone each day and do what scares you, you would not fulfill your potential. Greatness lies outside your comfort zone so I encourage you to put yourself out there, to carry yourself with dignity, to take risks and let your W H Y push you. Let it be your drive. Wolf Blitzer is a well-known, successful news anchor but he wouldn’t have got there by playing small. Like Marianne Willamson said “your playing small does not serve the world.’ The world needs you. The world needs your glow. Do not dim it. Strive to be that light wherever you go, in whatever you do and wherever you find yourself.
2.“The future belongs to the dreamers and not the critics.” – President Donald Trump: This is so powerful. As you journey through life, you will meet people of all kinds- the ones who are truly happy for you and the ones who aren’t but in the midst of it all, it is important to keep your head high amongst all the hate, amongst all the background noise. There are so many voices today…do this and do that…and it is easy for one to start drowning amongst it all and lose your identity and authenticity. So this quote is to encourage you all to be yourself, to dream big and not allow other people’s opinions of you deter you or limit you. Your future is so bright young people; no one can quench it unless you allow them to.
3.“Ideas don’t fully form when you begin. As you work on them, they become clear.”– Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook): This is so true and I can relate to through my experiences and even with this platform. There’s never going to be a perfect time to go after your dreams. There’s always one excuse or the other but you can’t let that hinder you. Before I relaunched Motty Inspires, there were so many new ideas I had, some I did not know how to implement and it delayed me from launching it out. Eventually, I decided that the ‘right time’ I was waiting for was not coming anytime soon and I have a mission of inspiring the younger generation- time is precious. So in a nutshell, you have that idea, go for it. Along the journey, you will develop the right skills, the ‘perfect’ team will come, the funds will come everything will sort itself out. You just have to make up your mind to make that move- to take that step of Faith.
4.“The best years are very much ahead of you”: Octavia Spencer (Award winning actress and author): You have an amazing life ahead and that is what Octavia reassured the graduates- you might be thinking these are your best years but even better years lie ahead. So keep your eyes on the vision as you journey through life and when you do encounter stumbling blocks- let this quote keep you moving forward. Your actions today matter. Your habits today matter. The decisions you make today count. They will influence the outcome of your life five, ten years from now. So think straight!
5.“I practice being grateful. I got everything I have now because I practiced being grateful.”- Oprah Winfrey (Media Mogul, Author, and Philanthropist): You might be wondering ‘well…Oprah has every reason to be grateful.’ But she would not have got to where she is if she was complaining about life, procrastinating and not doing anything. Success is not a respecter of persons. You put in the work, you are faithful at your post of your duty and you will reap the benefits. I cannot overemphasize the importance of gratitude- it has done wonders in my life. There is every reason to be grateful- look around you, someone out there is wishing they have the life you are living. The fact that you are alive, healthy, reading this post is a lot to be thankful for. We all have our challenges but what differentiates the successful from the mediocre is their attitude. The right attitude goes a long way, it will open doors you never imagined so trust the process and purpose in your heart to be grateful in all seasons.
6.”Don’t let someone’s vision of your life get in the way of your dreams.” – Donald Trump Jnr (American businessman & son of President Trump): As you get older and face new ventures in your life, it is important to stay true to your purpose- stay true to who you are because the truth is that at this stage of your life, people will offer you all sorts of advice, do this, do that, if you don’t, you won’t make it, you won’t succeed etc. but it is important to not let people’s opinions blur your vision. Follow your purpose no matter what the journey entails. Keep pressing forward with your end goal in mind.
7.“The most important thing I learned is that we are not born with a certain amount of resilience.”- Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook, Author & Activist): This is so true and resilience is built out of life’s experiences. We go through certain things to bring out the best in us, to help us build strength, to help us mature and give us the wisdom we will need throughout our lives. Challenges are meant to shape us into who were meant to be and not to break us. What matters most is your attitude. The right attitude can change any situation, being grateful against all odds will only attract more amazing things into your life. So young people trust the process! Embrace your journey.
8.“Try not to rely on what you have learned in the classroom.”- Howard Schultz (Former Starbucks CEO): One thing I’ve realized from my university experience so far is that education is a package. It is more than going to the classroom or attending lectures and getting good grades even though that is absolutely fantastic! But, a quality education is more than this, it is about the practical knowledge you’ve acquired and you will be able to use later on in life, networking, social skills, exposure- meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds, trying out leadership roles, maturing in a new environment, having a voice and standing for what you believe etc. It is a package and academics is just an important aspect. So put yourself out there, learn all you can from every experience, every meeting or social gathering, every speech…learn all you can. Don’t just stick to classroom knowledge, it would not take you very far. The people who succeed are those who go the extra mile!!
9.“You’re never not afraid. I’m still afraid. I was afraid to write this speech.”- Will Ferrell (Actor, Comedian and Producer): Fear is a natural part of our lives, you have a choice each day to make it your fuel or let it hinder your growth. I wrote a blog post on ‘How to make fear your fuel.’ Young people, fear will always be present, there is no way to get rid of fear especially at this time when you are trying to navigate adulthood and figuring what you want to do with your life. You have a choice to let it push you to achieve your highest potential or let it overcome you. Friends, hold fear in one hand and hold passion and faith in another and just JUMP. Greatness lies outside your comfort zone and each day is an opportunity for you to do the great things you were called to do. Step at the edge of your comfort zone daily. Try out new things. Make that call. Send that application. Buy that domain. Register for that extra-curricular activity. Do that audition. Whatever your dream requires, do it!!
10.“Ask the question, how can I be used?”- Oprah Winfrey (Media Mogul & Philanthropist): One thing I have realized in life is that your gift is not for you. A gift is not a gift until it is shared.- Steve Harvey. We are brought on earth to use our various gifts and abilities to help humanity. Everyone is unique and has something special to offer…you have ‘your touch’, and none other can take your place. We are here to help one another, to give back…it doesn’t always have to be money, sometimes your presence is what is required, your time, that sacrifice, your wisdom, your experiences; sometimes people need to hear your story and that might be all it takes to ignite hope inside of them. So as you get older and experience ‘life’, ask yourself ‘how can I be used’? How can you be of help to others?
P.S: This post took a while to write. I’ve been compiling these quotes for weeks because I have to choose the most striking ones that will be of help to you. Which quote was your favourite and if you have any more to add, why don’t you drop them in the comment section and I will respond to them.