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Charles Wheelan over at the WSJ put together a great list of “10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You,” including:Some of your worst days lie ahead
Don’t make the world worse
Both statements may seem like common sense, but they’re loaded with meaning. Not giving either enough thought is ignoring reality, and the snowball effect of all of our incremental daily decisions. At best, not paying attention to the second point is a surefire way to fall into a life of complacency.
And despite what Wheelan says, there have been a few great graduation speeches that said exactly this:
Steve Jobs once told Stanford about his biggest failures and bad decisions, advising them to stay foolish, stay hungry.
Last year Amy Poehler told Harvard students that they’re nearly perfect, if only they could be a little nicer.
Bill Clinton told NYU students that the U.S. has embraced “two bad ideas” in the past 30 years, and that they should think twice before going to business school.
KKR’s Henry Kravis told Columbia grads that “relativism is not an option,” and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling told American University‘s business students to always consider the long-term implications of every decision.
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