It’s graduation time and many new graduates are getting to hear some really good, inspirational speeches, chock full of authentic advice to help them start on their new life journey. These inspirational titbits, however, shouldn’t only be wasted on the young. I think ALL of us can benefit from some of the sound advice these experienced speakers dole out.
One of my favorite inspirational speakers is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah ALWAYS has something good and positive to say. CNBC is tracking current graduation speeches and has put together an assortment of speech examples for all of us to share. Here’s an example from one of Oprah’s current graduation speeches (Skidmore Class of 2017) that I think all of us can learn from (click here).
When Oprah Winfrey was growing up, she had big dreams. She would tell her father, “I am going to live in a house on a hill,” or, “I am going to have a million dollars.” But Winfrey quickly learned, “the dream I had for myself couldn’t compare to the dream that life had for me”. How do you find your own flow? Here are the four things you need to know to make the right decisions and be successful in work and life, according to Winfrey.
#1 What is your inner voice telling you? Each and every one of us has instinct. It’s that feeling in your gut that is telling you what is the right thing for you to do. Listen to it. Your instinct will never do you wrong. Follow your gut and you will find the path to your success.
#2 What is your intention? This is a very important question to ask yourself. Why are you doing what you are doing? What is your end result? If you can’t answer these questions then you are just mindlessly living your life with no end goal in sight.
#3 What are you grateful for? I don’t let a day go by without taking a few moments to look over my life and find all the goodness in it that I am most grateful for. “I practice being grateful,” says Winfrey, and she knows what you’re thinking. “And a lot of people say, ‘Oh Oprah, that’s easy for you ’cause you got everything!'” No, says Winfrey: “I got everything because I practiced being grateful.”
#4. What is your truth? Who are you? What makes you who you are? For me, personally, I know who I am. I know where I came from and where I am going. I’ve had many setbacks in my life but getting through them helped me define who I really am. “And it is your job to know the truth” of who you are, says Winfrey. “And let that truth set you free.”