It’s that time of year when universities and high schools go through graduation ceremonies and we celebrate educational achievements. It’s also that time of year when you get bombarded with every great commencement speech ever given. There is clearly a recipe for giving a great commencement speech. Here are the ingredients:
1. Make the graduates feel like they are about to accomplish something really great, and not just become part of the machine.
2. Make graduates believe like somehow they will be difference makers.
3. Make graduates think they have endless possibilities and opportunities.
4. Make graduates think the world really wants and need them and can’t wait to work with them.
5. Wear sunscreen.
I think that about sums up every great commencement speech ever given. Let’s face it, the key to any great speech is not telling people what they need to hear, but telling them what they want to hear!
I would like to give a commencement speech. I think it would be fun. I like to inspire people. Here are the main topics I would hit if I were to give a commencement speech:
1. Work sucks, but being poor sucks more. Don’t ever think work should make you happy. Find happiness in yourself, not what you do.
2. You owe a lot of people, a lot of stuff. Shut your mouth and give back to them. Stop looking for the world to keep giving you stuff.
3. No one cares about you. Well, maybe your Mom, if you had a good Mom. They care about what you can do for them. Basically, you can’t do much, you’re a new grad.
4. Don’t think you’re going to be special. 99.9% of people are just normal people, so will you. The sooner you come to grips with this, the sooner you’ll be happy.
5. Don’t listen to your bitter parents. Almost always, the person who works the hardest has better outcomes in anything in life. Once in a while, a person who doesn’t work hard, but has supremely better talent or connections than you, will kick your ass. That’s life. Buy a helmet.
6. Don’t listen to advice from famous people. Their view of the world is warped through their grandiose belief somehow they made it through hard work and effort. It’s usually just good timing.
7. Find out who you care about in life, and make them a priority. In this world, you have very few people you truly care about, and who care about you in return. Don’t fuck that up.
8. Make your mistakes when you’re young. Failure is difficult, it’s profoundly more difficult when you have a mortgage and 2 kids to take care of.
9. It’s alright that sometimes you have to kiss ass. It doesn’t make you less of a person.
10. Twitter is not what the majority thinks. Twitter are the 10% on the fringe, right and left, don’t confuse what is trending on Twitter with reality, it’s not. The vast majority of America is still Moderate. Smart enough to see a topic probably has at least two sides and willing to understand both and form an opinion.
11. Wear sunscreen. Cancer sucks.
So, do you feel inspired now!? Any high schools or colleges feel free to email me, I’m completely wide open on my commencement speech calendar and willing to give this speech in a moment’s notice!
Tim- You left out the part about taking good care of your knees…you’ll miss them when they shot! Otherwise, solid.
Fantastic Tim, and so much briefer than the commencement address I had to sit through in my dress blues!
Also, what’s twitter? 😉
Leave it to Tim to inspire us while making us laugh. Thanks Tim and if you need a sidekick I’m available!
This is amazing. I’d pay you to give this speech. And I’d provide the sunscreen.
Life altering advice here. Gonna share this with my high school graduate.
Spot on sir!
That’s #12 if you’re doing the commencement speech at a religious school! 😉
I’m inspired now. The sunscreen advice is Top Notch; simple and could possibly save your life.
Sounds pretty accurate to me, Tim. Well said!