I recently applied to be the convocation speaker for my college's graduating class. The following is a copy of the speech I applied with. Ultimately I wasn't chosen, but I'm not surprised.
Hi, I’m Michael. I’m nobody special. I’m just one of you guys.
This isn’t going to be a normal graduation speech, but I guess that’s what they all say, so it’s already a normal graduation speech. I promise I’ll keep it short.
We’re really not all that special. Sure, some of us may have traveled abroad for spring break or got straight As, but so did hundreds of other people in this room.
The sooner you realize that you’re not a super star and that you’re just another “basic” person, the better off in life you will be. People will be attracted to your nonchalant attitude and will be surprised when they find out all the stuff you weren’t busy boasting about.
A very close role model of mine once told me, “Michael, always take the road that goes up hill.” I never followed that advice and I’m so glad I didn’t.
Efficiency, not adversity, is where people are able to learn the most from life. With the newly found time from liberating yourself of your burdens, you will be astonished at what new things you can accomplish. I always took the easiest classes I could get into. The end result, I was able to pursue my passions and learn about things that truly meant something to me.
Passion is the only important thing in life. Whatever it is, chase it. Without passion, there’s no reason to live.
Boldness comes in a close second place. Once you’ve established what your passion is, which is half the battle, you need to pursue it with a never-ending supply of boldness. Being bold takes guts, but like a fine medieval set of armor, it can be crafted with enough time through hard work.
Lastly, I challenge all of you instead of striving to obtain more stuff or more “friends”, to simply give away as much stuff as you possibly can whether it’s clothing, money, food, jewelry, tech products, or even friendships, whatever it may be. There’ll always be somebody more in need than yourself, and I promise it won’t kill you to give a little. With less stuff, there’ll be more room for you to focus on your passions, and more time to spend being bold pursuing them.
These are the keys to happiness, and happiness, is all that matters. Not college degrees, material goods, a fat bank account, or fancy job titles, just happiness.
That is all. Thank you.
Pretty much the point I am trying to get across can be simplified into the following bullet list.
- Searching - Find your passion
- Focusing - Remove everything that's irrelevant respective to your passion
- Action - Be bold and take risks pursuing your passion