Mark Zuckerberg's 8th Grade Speech

middle school graduation

Photo: johnpat10

Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech at an 8th grade graduation today in Menlo Park.The theme was how to overcome, “I can’t.”

It began with the principal fudging Mark’s name (“I’d like to present to you Mr. Mark Zuckerman!”) and ended with three pieces of solid advice for the soon-to-be high schoolers.

Here were the major takeaways (or just watch the 8 minute video below):

  • Mark’s most memorable teacher had one eye and wore a patch. Kids called him “Pirate.”
  • There are three ways to overcome “I can’t”…
  1. Everything that’s worth doing is actually pretty hard and takes a lot of work. There are no short cuts.
  2. Focus on building great relationships.  “When you go through school, a lot of people probably just tell you to focus on grades and doing work. [They] don’t tell you [to] focus on having friends and really enjoying yourself,” says Zuckerberg. “But the reality is that stuff is really important…A lot of the time the experts, the people who are supposed to be able to tell you what to do, will tell you that you can’t do something even when you know you can. And a lot of the time it’s your friends…who tell you you can do it.”
  3. Do what you love. “When you go home to dinner and you have the worst tasting vegetable on your plate you can make yourself eat that if you want,” says Zuckerberg. “But if you play a game, even if it’s really hard, if it’s something that you like you’re going to power through it. If you actually do something you love it’s a lot easier and takes on a lot more purpose.”
  • Zuckerberg says society focuses too much on one person — the star athlete, the lead singer, or the face of a company. But no one, he says, does things alone. “Great friendships are what make life a lot of fun and meaningful; [they] also enable you to do a lot of things.”

“Study hard!” Zuckerberg concludes.

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