2014 - Best Graduation Speeches

The main graduation advice this year was to push through one's fears: fear of what others will think of you, fear of failure, fear of not knowing what's next. On the other side of fear, there is love and finding out what you are meant to be. Read and learn from the best advice from last season's commencement addresses.

1. Actor Jim Carrey at
Maharishi Univ. of Management

I have a reset button called presence and I ride that button constantly.


"So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it — please!. And if it doesn't happen for you right away, it’s only because the universe is so busy fulfilling my order. It’s party size!

Commencement Address at Maharishi University 2014.
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2. Adm. William McRaven at Univ. of Texas at Austin

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.


" Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.

Commencement Address at University of Texas at Austin 2014
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3. Shonda Rhimes Darmouth College


I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people, are busy doing.

graduation-quotes-shonda-rhimes-dartmouth

Commencement Address at the Darmouth College, 2014
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4. Jennifer Lee at University of New Hampshire


When you believe in yourself, you succeed better. Hours spent questioning, doubting, fearing, can be given over to working, exploring, living .


Commencement Address at University of New Hampshire, 2014
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5. Sandra Bullock at Warren Easton Charter School

Stop worrying so much, OK? Stop being scared of the unknown. Anything I worried about didn't happen. Other stuff happened, but not what I worried about. The unknown we can't do anything about, and I don't remember any of the moments in my life where I worried. So that's a lot of time I couldn't get back.

sandra-bullock-graduation-quotes
Surprise Graduation Speech at Warren Easton Charter School, New Orleans 2014
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6. Charlie Day at Merrimack College

Everything I'm truly proud of in this life has been a terrifying prospect to me. From my first play, to hosting "Saturday Night Live," getting married, being a father, speaking to you today. None of it comes easy. People will tell you to do what makes you happy, but all this has been hard work.



Commencement Address at Merrimack College, 2014
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7. Joice DiDonato at Juillard School

We need you to help us understand that which is bigger than ourselves, so that we can stop feeling so small, so isolated, so helpless that, in our fear, we stop contributing that which is unique to us: that distinct, rare, individual quality which the world is desperately crying out for and eagerly awaiting. ”

Commencement Address at Juillard School, 2014
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8. John Legend at University of Pennsylvania

...and fear is the opposite of love... Fear is what blinds us. Fear is corrosive. Fear makes us hold back. It whispers to us, tells us that we'll fail. It tells us that our differences are too much to overcome. Fear locks us in place. It starts fights. It causes wars. And fear keeps us from loving.


Commencement Address at University of Pennsylavnia, 2014
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9. Zoketsu Norman Fischer

All we know is that we are here for a while before we are gone, and that we are here together. The only thing that makes sense and that is completely real is love. Love is the only answer.

" You could practice gratitude – when you wake up every morning, as soon as you put your feet on the floor from bed, sitting on the side of the bed you can close your eyes, be quiet for a minute, and say the word "grateful" to yourself silently, and just sit there for a moment or two and see what happens. You could practice that right now….

Commencement Address at Stanford University, 2014
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10. Bill and Melinda Gates at Stanford University

When we strip away our luck and privilege and consider where we'd be without them, it becomes easier to see someone who's poor and sick and say "that could be me." This is empathy; it tears down barriers and opens up new frontiers for optimism.


Commencement Address at Stanford University, 2014 ...........................................................................


11. Martin Scorsese at NYU Tisch School of Arts

You may be shy. You may be tentative. And even, at times, you may be fragile. But you have to protect your own voice, your creative spirit, no matter what it costs. That takes tenacity, confidence, and resilience.



Commencement Address at Stanford University, 2014 ...........................................................................


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