topic
A Little Advice about Life

Introduced: May 21 2012

Commencement time again, and new graduates need YOUR advice before they go out into the world. If you'd like to read what IWD members and famous commencement speakers said last year, click here for 2011 advice to graduates, then add your comments. Feel free to agree or disagree. If you responded last year, tell us any new wisdom you've gained from the past year.

Dialogue on A Little Advice about Life
IWD:

Note from IWD: For the second year in a row, IWD “scooped" the New York Times when it came to collecting interesting advice from commencement speakers. If you’d like to see who they thought should be quoted, use this link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/us/graduation-speakers-offer-advice-idealism-and-humor.html?pagewanted=all

050:

The most recent thing I’ve learned – and I keep repeating it to myself is – “most of the things we worry about don’t come true.” I’m especially going to keep that in mind during this political season, because it seems that one of the popular campaign strategies is to make us worry about something. For example, if we don’t implement all of the Affordable Care Act, we are all going to end up sick and untreated. If we do allow the Act to be implemented, the government is going to use the vehicle of taxes to enter and control every aspect of our lives. Trying to Influence voters using fear and exaggeration -- I don't like it!

321:

Some advice is worth repeating. Forbes magazine thought so anyway. They recounted some advice from past years and in it was this one from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.“The next step is you’re going to have to believe in yourself potentially more than you do today. Studies also show that compared to men, women underestimate their performance. If you ask men and women questions about completely objective criteria such as GPAs or sales goals, men get it wrong slightly high; women get it wrong slightly low. More importantly, if you ask men why they succeeded, men attribute that success to themselves; and women, they attribute it to other factors like working harder, help from others. Ask a woman why she did well on something, and she’ll say, ‘I got lucky. All of these great people helped me. I worked really hard.’ Ask a man and he’ll say or think, ‘What a dumb question. I’m awesome.’ So women need to take a page from men and own their own success.” 

Note from IWD: Sheryl Sandberg spoke at Barnard in 2011. Following this trail to the article in Forbes, we found some other advice that digs a little deeper than most commencement clichés. http://mail.aol.com/36515-112/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

Particularly recommended by Forbes was this address on the future of journalism – and anyone who likes to write -- by Robert Krulwich, host of award-winning science radio show, Radiolab. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/

 

149:

The best advice I’ve heard latterly came in the form of a colorful, rollicking, and sweetly sensitive movie named The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A group of retirees, coming from different directions and for different reasons, ends up living in a residence hotel in India and each approaches the experience in a different way. Some find it strange and off-putting; others are thrilled to venture out. A lot like life, we have some choice over how we see our situation and either shrink back and complain or grab hold and enjoy. So, for me the message of the movie was “Embrace India!" (meaning “Life’s unexpected, unintended, and unfamiliar").

213:

Just when you think you have managed to identify all the interesting people in the world, whose views and observations you want to follow, you bump into another. A friend sent me the commencement speech given at Princeton this year by Michael Lewis. It’s worth reading! http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/87/54K53/index.xml?section%20



Note from IWD: Michael Lewis is the author of Moneyball and Liar’s Poker and six other bestsellers. Lewis graduated from Princeton in 1982 with a degree in art history and then, in what he describes as “chance,” went to work for Saloman Brothers, where he had an inside view of how Wall Street works. His speech, entitled “Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie” focuses on the role that luck plays in success. He writes for Bloomberg View and if you want to read more, here’s a link: http://www.bloomberg.com/view/bios/michael-lewis/bv

315:

I’d say, to anyone who’s starting the next chapter of their lives – whether it’s a first job or quitting a job or making a move – doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing. Like that commercial on TV says,” A body in motion stays in motion.” One thing leads to another, so you are better off taking a step – or a leap, in some cases – than staying stuck someplace.

294:

I know that most of the speakers will encourage graduates to do something for the world, get involved in some sort of public service. But news such as Olympia Snowe deciding to leave Congress sends a stronger message that being elected to office doesn’t necessarily mean you can do anything positive for the country or the word.



Note from IWD: Olympia Snow recently announced her decision to leave Congress after serving in the Senate for 17 years. A Republican from Maine, Snowe was considered a centrist and often voted independently from her party line. To read about her decision in her own words: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/olympia-snowe-why-im-leaving-the-senate/2012/03/01/gIQApGYZlR_story.html Olympia Snowe was also named by an IWD member as someone "Who's Worth Watching." To read about her and others worth watching, click here: http://www.iwdialogue.com/who-worth-watching

223:

My advice would be – stand up from the computer and interact with real people at least part of every day. Oh yes, and don’t smoke!

177:

Some of the best moments of my life come from the time I spend with friends. I can give this advice: whatever you do with your career and your family, don’t ignore your friends. They are the ones that will get you through life’s ups and downs.

093:

I think young women going out in the world need to hear that there’s still a long way to go for women. I was just reading in USA Today that only 3% of all tech start-ups in Silicon Valleyare led by women. It was surprising to me that the relatively new field of technology – like many of the "old" professions, like finance, law and real estate development, would be dominated by men. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I'd like to tell them to go for it! They have what it takes.

IWD:

Note from IWD: Advice from some official Commencement Speakers

Jane Lynch, comedienne and actress famous for her role in Glee, spoke about the importance of "YES AND": "...in order for our lives to go forward, in order to engage fully in life, we need to be willing and able to accept what is right in front of us. Whatever it is, the good, the bad, the thrilling, the heartbreaking, every emotion, occurrence, event, person, place or thing, you will experience them all. That’s the 'YES' I’m talking about. And the acceptance and embrace of it with all your heart and doing something with it, that’s the “AND.” You accept influence and then you exert influence. You can’t make a cloudy day a sunny day, but can embrace it and decide it’s going to be a good day after all." And her mixed metaphor mantra: "If life gives you lemons, grab it by the horns and drive." To read the text http://www.smith.edu/events/commencement_speech2012.php To view the video http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/jane-lynchs-commencement-speech-at-328791%20

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a high school graduating class in South Florida in a district that is mainly Hispanic, leading some to believe his appearance there was related to politics. (Studies show that young voters are likely to stick with the party for whom they vote the first time – if that candidate wins.) He also gave the commencement address at West Point and pointed out that “You are asked to take on tasks once reserved only for those with years of seniority and take on responsibilities far beyond the base or the battlefield. Young men and women steeped in military doctrine have had to master the intricacies of tribal politics, deal with issues ranging from electricity to unemployment, currency exchange to taxation.” In that speech, he summarized this Administration’s approach to international relations and the U.S. military role: “When President Obama and I came to office, we were convinced that our nation had reached a strategic turning point, requiring us to rebalance our foreign policy. While we will maintain a substantial, vigilant presence in the Middle East -- and partners with the Afghanis -- that will outlast our combat mission, we are now able to begin to focus our attention and resources on other regions and other challenges that will be incredibly critical to our nation's future in the 21st century.” And: “Rebalancing our foreign policy also means refocusing on the most dynamic region of the world's economy, the global economy, Asia. The United States has long been and will remain a Pacific power and a critical provider of peace, prosperity and security of this vital region.” To read the entire speech: http://mail.aol.com/36294-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true%20

Maria Shriver spoke at the USC commencement and advised graduates (including her own daughter) about the “power of the pause” – not being afraid to take a moment when deciding which path to take. Later, when interviewed by David Gregory on MSNBC, she said, “Well, when the played the pomp and circumstance you get very emotional and I actually almost burst into tears in the speech, because I talked being in awe at my first child graduating from college. But I think that they’re a lot of people our age who are speaking to these young people who have something very much in common. There are millions of people who are having to start over again in their lives, who are having to re-imagine their lives, who are having to take incredible risks, who are having to do things they never imagined. So I think we’re all kind of in this together in many ways, depending on our age, there is so many women who are finding themselves in the position of being breadwinners, caretakers, nurtures, and having to drop out of jobs, reinvent themselves, start businesses . I think as a nation, we’re having to re-define who we are, what we’re doing, and we’re all having to step back and say you know I might have to take a risk I never imagined. I look for common ground with these young graduates , they may be younger but I think we’re all kind of starting out on a path in many ways that has no kind of clear direction to it, and that’s scary and exciting.”

Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, author, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian social worker, delivered the commencement address at Vassar College. She said to the young women, “Step into the world and shine. Step into the world and exert yourself. You may encounter bosses who will expect you to act dumb to make them shine. Remember that you have to blossom, not for yourself but for the people you will be serving.”

Brian Williams at George Washington University: "You don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space, but please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better."

Katie Couric at University of Virginia: "Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive." And: "Losing someone is also a reminder that life is short, and fragile. We are all terminal. And that's why we have to be grateful for the time we have and savor the joy that comes our way."

Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, at The University of Texas at Austin: "To serve the public you don't need to deploy to a war zone or move to a developing country or bury yourself in a cubicle by the Potomac River. You don't have to be a CIA operative tracking the world's most notorious terrorists. Nor must you lead a team of warriors bringing him to a just and violent end, like Admiral Bill McCraven, U.T. Distinguished Alumnus from the class of '77. Everywhere there are children to be taught, veterans to be healed, roads to build, and communities to strengthen, especially in these challenging times. In building a good business and staying involved in your community, you also render public service in multiple ways."

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, at Boston University: "People bemoan this generation that is growing up living life in front of screens, always connected to something or someone. These people are wrong. They're absolutely wrong. The fact that we're all connected now is a blessing, not a curse, and we can solve many, many problems in the world as a result."

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, producer and playwright (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball): "You're going to fall down, but the world doesn't care how many times you fall down, as long as it's one fewer than the number of times you get back up."

IWD:

Note from IWD: For the second year in a row, IWD “scooped" the New York Times when it came to collecting interesting advice from commencement speakers. If you’d like to see who they thought should be quoted, use this link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/us/graduation-speakers-offer-advice-idealism-and-humor.html?pagewanted=all

050:

The most recent thing I’ve learned – and I keep repeating it to myself is – “most of the things we worry about don’t come true.” I’m especially going to keep that in mind during this political season, because it seems that one of the popular campaign strategies is to make us worry about something. For example, if we don’t implement all of the Affordable Care Act, we are all going to end up sick and untreated. If we do allow the Act to be implemented, the government is going to use the vehicle of taxes to enter and control every aspect of our lives. Trying to Influence voters using fear and exaggeration -- I don't like it!

321:

Some advice is worth repeating. Forbes magazine thought so anyway. They recounted some advice from past years and in it was this one from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.“The next step is you’re going to have to believe in yourself potentially more than you do today. Studies also show that compared to men, women underestimate their performance. If you ask men and women questions about completely objective criteria such as GPAs or sales goals, men get it wrong slightly high; women get it wrong slightly low. More importantly, if you ask men why they succeeded, men attribute that success to themselves; and women, they attribute it to other factors like working harder, help from others. Ask a woman why she did well on something, and she’ll say, ‘I got lucky. All of these great people helped me. I worked really hard.’ Ask a man and he’ll say or think, ‘What a dumb question. I’m awesome.’ So women need to take a page from men and own their own success.” 

Note from IWD: Sheryl Sandberg spoke at Barnard in 2011. Following this trail to the article in Forbes, we found some other advice that digs a little deeper than most commencement clichés. http://mail.aol.com/36515-112/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

Particularly recommended by Forbes was this address on the future of journalism – and anyone who likes to write -- by Robert Krulwich, host of award-winning science radio show, Radiolab. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/

 

149:

The best advice I’ve heard latterly came in the form of a colorful, rollicking, and sweetly sensitive movie named The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A group of retirees, coming from different directions and for different reasons, ends up living in a residence hotel in India and each approaches the experience in a different way. Some find it strange and off-putting; others are thrilled to venture out. A lot like life, we have some choice over how we see our situation and either shrink back and complain or grab hold and enjoy. So, for me the message of the movie was “Embrace India!" (meaning “Life’s unexpected, unintended, and unfamiliar").

213:

Just when you think you have managed to identify all the interesting people in the world, whose views and observations you want to follow, you bump into another. A friend sent me the commencement speech given at Princeton this year by Michael Lewis. It’s worth reading! http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/87/54K53/index.xml?section%20



Note from IWD: Michael Lewis is the author of Moneyball and Liar’s Poker and six other bestsellers. Lewis graduated from Princeton in 1982 with a degree in art history and then, in what he describes as “chance,” went to work for Saloman Brothers, where he had an inside view of how Wall Street works. His speech, entitled “Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie” focuses on the role that luck plays in success. He writes for Bloomberg View and if you want to read more, here’s a link: http://www.bloomberg.com/view/bios/michael-lewis/bv

315:

I’d say, to anyone who’s starting the next chapter of their lives – whether it’s a first job or quitting a job or making a move – doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing. Like that commercial on TV says,” A body in motion stays in motion.” One thing leads to another, so you are better off taking a step – or a leap, in some cases – than staying stuck someplace.

294:

I know that most of the speakers will encourage graduates to do something for the world, get involved in some sort of public service. But news such as Olympia Snowe deciding to leave Congress sends a stronger message that being elected to office doesn’t necessarily mean you can do anything positive for the country or the word.



Note from IWD: Olympia Snow recently announced her decision to leave Congress after serving in the Senate for 17 years. A Republican from Maine, Snowe was considered a centrist and often voted independently from her party line. To read about her decision in her own words: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/olympia-snowe-why-im-leaving-the-senate/2012/03/01/gIQApGYZlR_story.html Olympia Snowe was also named by an IWD member as someone "Who's Worth Watching." To read about her and others worth watching, click here: http://www.iwdialogue.com/who-worth-watching

223:

My advice would be – stand up from the computer and interact with real people at least part of every day. Oh yes, and don’t smoke!

177:

Some of the best moments of my life come from the time I spend with friends. I can give this advice: whatever you do with your career and your family, don’t ignore your friends. They are the ones that will get you through life’s ups and downs.

093:

I think young women going out in the world need to hear that there’s still a long way to go for women. I was just reading in USA Today that only 3% of all tech start-ups in Silicon Valleyare led by women. It was surprising to me that the relatively new field of technology – like many of the "old" professions, like finance, law and real estate development, would be dominated by men. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I'd like to tell them to go for it! They have what it takes.

IWD:

Note from IWD: Advice from some official Commencement Speakers

Jane Lynch, comedienne and actress famous for her role in Glee, spoke about the importance of "YES AND": "...in order for our lives to go forward, in order to engage fully in life, we need to be willing and able to accept what is right in front of us. Whatever it is, the good, the bad, the thrilling, the heartbreaking, every emotion, occurrence, event, person, place or thing, you will experience them all. That’s the 'YES' I’m talking about. And the acceptance and embrace of it with all your heart and doing something with it, that’s the “AND.” You accept influence and then you exert influence. You can’t make a cloudy day a sunny day, but can embrace it and decide it’s going to be a good day after all." And her mixed metaphor mantra: "If life gives you lemons, grab it by the horns and drive." To read the text http://www.smith.edu/events/commencement_speech2012.php To view the video http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/jane-lynchs-commencement-speech-at-328791%20

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a high school graduating class in South Florida in a district that is mainly Hispanic, leading some to believe his appearance there was related to politics. (Studies show that young voters are likely to stick with the party for whom they vote the first time – if that candidate wins.) He also gave the commencement address at West Point and pointed out that “You are asked to take on tasks once reserved only for those with years of seniority and take on responsibilities far beyond the base or the battlefield. Young men and women steeped in military doctrine have had to master the intricacies of tribal politics, deal with issues ranging from electricity to unemployment, currency exchange to taxation.” In that speech, he summarized this Administration’s approach to international relations and the U.S. military role: “When President Obama and I came to office, we were convinced that our nation had reached a strategic turning point, requiring us to rebalance our foreign policy. While we will maintain a substantial, vigilant presence in the Middle East -- and partners with the Afghanis -- that will outlast our combat mission, we are now able to begin to focus our attention and resources on other regions and other challenges that will be incredibly critical to our nation's future in the 21st century.” And: “Rebalancing our foreign policy also means refocusing on the most dynamic region of the world's economy, the global economy, Asia. The United States has long been and will remain a Pacific power and a critical provider of peace, prosperity and security of this vital region.” To read the entire speech: http://mail.aol.com/36294-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true%20

Maria Shriver spoke at the USC commencement and advised graduates (including her own daughter) about the “power of the pause” – not being afraid to take a moment when deciding which path to take. Later, when interviewed by David Gregory on MSNBC, she said, “Well, when the played the pomp and circumstance you get very emotional and I actually almost burst into tears in the speech, because I talked being in awe at my first child graduating from college. But I think that they’re a lot of people our age who are speaking to these young people who have something very much in common. There are millions of people who are having to start over again in their lives, who are having to re-imagine their lives, who are having to take incredible risks, who are having to do things they never imagined. So I think we’re all kind of in this together in many ways, depending on our age, there is so many women who are finding themselves in the position of being breadwinners, caretakers, nurtures, and having to drop out of jobs, reinvent themselves, start businesses . I think as a nation, we’re having to re-define who we are, what we’re doing, and we’re all having to step back and say you know I might have to take a risk I never imagined. I look for common ground with these young graduates , they may be younger but I think we’re all kind of starting out on a path in many ways that has no kind of clear direction to it, and that’s scary and exciting.”

Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, author, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian social worker, delivered the commencement address at Vassar College. She said to the young women, “Step into the world and shine. Step into the world and exert yourself. You may encounter bosses who will expect you to act dumb to make them shine. Remember that you have to blossom, not for yourself but for the people you will be serving.”

Brian Williams at George Washington University: "You don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space, but please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better."

Katie Couric at University of Virginia: "Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive." And: "Losing someone is also a reminder that life is short, and fragile. We are all terminal. And that's why we have to be grateful for the time we have and savor the joy that comes our way."

Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, at The University of Texas at Austin: "To serve the public you don't need to deploy to a war zone or move to a developing country or bury yourself in a cubicle by the Potomac River. You don't have to be a CIA operative tracking the world's most notorious terrorists. Nor must you lead a team of warriors bringing him to a just and violent end, like Admiral Bill McCraven, U.T. Distinguished Alumnus from the class of '77. Everywhere there are children to be taught, veterans to be healed, roads to build, and communities to strengthen, especially in these challenging times. In building a good business and staying involved in your community, you also render public service in multiple ways."

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, at Boston University: "People bemoan this generation that is growing up living life in front of screens, always connected to something or someone. These people are wrong. They're absolutely wrong. The fact that we're all connected now is a blessing, not a curse, and we can solve many, many problems in the world as a result."

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, producer and playwright (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball): "You're going to fall down, but the world doesn't care how many times you fall down, as long as it's one fewer than the number of times you get back up."

IWD:

Note from IWD: Advice from some official Commencement Speakers

Jane Lynch, comedienne and actress famous for her role in Glee, spoke about the importance of "YES AND": "...in order for our lives to go forward, in order to engage fully in life, we need to be willing and able to accept what is right in front of us. Whatever it is, the good, the bad, the thrilling, the heartbreaking, every emotion, occurrence, event, person, place or thing, you will experience them all. That’s the 'YES' I’m talking about. And the acceptance and embrace of it with all your heart and doing something with it, that’s the “AND.” You accept influence and then you exert influence. You can’t make a cloudy day a sunny day, but can embrace it and decide it’s going to be a good day after all." And her mixed metaphor mantra: "If life gives you lemons, grab it by the horns and drive." To read the text http://www.smith.edu/events/commencement_speech2012.php To view the video http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/jane-lynchs-commencement-speech-at-328791%20

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a high school graduating class in South Florida in a district that is mainly Hispanic, leading some to believe his appearance there was related to politics. (Studies show that young voters are likely to stick with the party for whom they vote the first time – if that candidate wins.) He also gave the commencement address at West Point and pointed out that “You are asked to take on tasks once reserved only for those with years of seniority and take on responsibilities far beyond the base or the battlefield. Young men and women steeped in military doctrine have had to master the intricacies of tribal politics, deal with issues ranging from electricity to unemployment, currency exchange to taxation.” In that speech, he summarized this Administration’s approach to international relations and the U.S. military role: “When President Obama and I came to office, we were convinced that our nation had reached a strategic turning point, requiring us to rebalance our foreign policy. While we will maintain a substantial, vigilant presence in the Middle East -- and partners with the Afghanis -- that will outlast our combat mission, we are now able to begin to focus our attention and resources on other regions and other challenges that will be incredibly critical to our nation's future in the 21st century.” And: “Rebalancing our foreign policy also means refocusing on the most dynamic region of the world's economy, the global economy, Asia. The United States has long been and will remain a Pacific power and a critical provider of peace, prosperity and security of this vital region.” To read the entire speech: http://mail.aol.com/36294-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true%20

Maria Shriver spoke at the USC commencement and advised graduates (including her own daughter) about the “power of the pause” – not being afraid to take a moment when deciding which path to take. Later, when interviewed by David Gregory on MSNBC, she said, “Well, when the played the pomp and circumstance you get very emotional and I actually almost burst into tears in the speech, because I talked being in awe at my first child graduating from college. But I think that they’re a lot of people our age who are speaking to these young people who have something very much in common. There are millions of people who are having to start over again in their lives, who are having to re-imagine their lives, who are having to take incredible risks, who are having to do things they never imagined. So I think we’re all kind of in this together in many ways, depending on our age, there is so many women who are finding themselves in the position of being breadwinners, caretakers, nurtures, and having to drop out of jobs, reinvent themselves, start businesses . I think as a nation, we’re having to re-define who we are, what we’re doing, and we’re all having to step back and say you know I might have to take a risk I never imagined. I look for common ground with these young graduates , they may be younger but I think we’re all kind of starting out on a path in many ways that has no kind of clear direction to it, and that’s scary and exciting.”

Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, author, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian social worker, delivered the commencement address at Vassar College. She said to the young women, “Step into the world and shine. Step into the world and exert yourself. You may encounter bosses who will expect you to act dumb to make them shine. Remember that you have to blossom, not for yourself but for the people you will be serving.”

Brian Williams at George Washington University: "You don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space, but please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better."

Katie Couric at University of Virginia: "Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive." And: "Losing someone is also a reminder that life is short, and fragile. We are all terminal. And that's why we have to be grateful for the time we have and savor the joy that comes our way."

Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, at The University of Texas at Austin: "To serve the public you don't need to deploy to a war zone or move to a developing country or bury yourself in a cubicle by the Potomac River. You don't have to be a CIA operative tracking the world's most notorious terrorists. Nor must you lead a team of warriors bringing him to a just and violent end, like Admiral Bill McCraven, U.T. Distinguished Alumnus from the class of '77. Everywhere there are children to be taught, veterans to be healed, roads to build, and communities to strengthen, especially in these challenging times. In building a good business and staying involved in your community, you also render public service in multiple ways."

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, at Boston University: "People bemoan this generation that is growing up living life in front of screens, always connected to something or someone. These people are wrong. They're absolutely wrong. The fact that we're all connected now is a blessing, not a curse, and we can solve many, many problems in the world as a result."

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, producer and playwright (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball): "You're going to fall down, but the world doesn't care how many times you fall down, as long as it's one fewer than the number of times you get back up."

093:

I think young women going out in the world need to hear that there’s still a long way to go for women. I was just reading in USA Today that only 3% of all tech start-ups in Silicon Valleyare led by women. It was surprising to me that the relatively new field of technology – like many of the "old" professions, like finance, law and real estate development, would be dominated by men. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I'd like to tell them to go for it! They have what it takes.

177:

Some of the best moments of my life come from the time I spend with friends. I can give this advice: whatever you do with your career and your family, don’t ignore your friends. They are the ones that will get you through life’s ups and downs.

223:

My advice would be – stand up from the computer and interact with real people at least part of every day. Oh yes, and don’t smoke!

294:

I know that most of the speakers will encourage graduates to do something for the world, get involved in some sort of public service. But news such as Olympia Snowe deciding to leave Congress sends a stronger message that being elected to office doesn’t necessarily mean you can do anything positive for the country or the word.



Note from IWD: Olympia Snow recently announced her decision to leave Congress after serving in the Senate for 17 years. A Republican from Maine, Snowe was considered a centrist and often voted independently from her party line. To read about her decision in her own words: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/olympia-snowe-why-im-leaving-the-senate/2012/03/01/gIQApGYZlR_story.html Olympia Snowe was also named by an IWD member as someone "Who's Worth Watching." To read about her and others worth watching, click here: http://www.iwdialogue.com/who-worth-watching

315:

I’d say, to anyone who’s starting the next chapter of their lives – whether it’s a first job or quitting a job or making a move – doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing. Like that commercial on TV says,” A body in motion stays in motion.” One thing leads to another, so you are better off taking a step – or a leap, in some cases – than staying stuck someplace.

213:

Just when you think you have managed to identify all the interesting people in the world, whose views and observations you want to follow, you bump into another. A friend sent me the commencement speech given at Princeton this year by Michael Lewis. It’s worth reading! http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/87/54K53/index.xml?section%20



Note from IWD: Michael Lewis is the author of Moneyball and Liar’s Poker and six other bestsellers. Lewis graduated from Princeton in 1982 with a degree in art history and then, in what he describes as “chance,” went to work for Saloman Brothers, where he had an inside view of how Wall Street works. His speech, entitled “Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie” focuses on the role that luck plays in success. He writes for Bloomberg View and if you want to read more, here’s a link: http://www.bloomberg.com/view/bios/michael-lewis/bv

149:

The best advice I’ve heard latterly came in the form of a colorful, rollicking, and sweetly sensitive movie named The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A group of retirees, coming from different directions and for different reasons, ends up living in a residence hotel in India and each approaches the experience in a different way. Some find it strange and off-putting; others are thrilled to venture out. A lot like life, we have some choice over how we see our situation and either shrink back and complain or grab hold and enjoy. So, for me the message of the movie was “Embrace India!" (meaning “Life’s unexpected, unintended, and unfamiliar").

321:

Some advice is worth repeating. Forbes magazine thought so anyway. They recounted some advice from past years and in it was this one from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.“The next step is you’re going to have to believe in yourself potentially more than you do today. Studies also show that compared to men, women underestimate their performance. If you ask men and women questions about completely objective criteria such as GPAs or sales goals, men get it wrong slightly high; women get it wrong slightly low. More importantly, if you ask men why they succeeded, men attribute that success to themselves; and women, they attribute it to other factors like working harder, help from others. Ask a woman why she did well on something, and she’ll say, ‘I got lucky. All of these great people helped me. I worked really hard.’ Ask a man and he’ll say or think, ‘What a dumb question. I’m awesome.’ So women need to take a page from men and own their own success.” 

Note from IWD: Sheryl Sandberg spoke at Barnard in 2011. Following this trail to the article in Forbes, we found some other advice that digs a little deeper than most commencement clichés. http://mail.aol.com/36515-112/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

Particularly recommended by Forbes was this address on the future of journalism – and anyone who likes to write -- by Robert Krulwich, host of award-winning science radio show, Radiolab. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/

 

050:

The most recent thing I’ve learned – and I keep repeating it to myself is – “most of the things we worry about don’t come true.” I’m especially going to keep that in mind during this political season, because it seems that one of the popular campaign strategies is to make us worry about something. For example, if we don’t implement all of the Affordable Care Act, we are all going to end up sick and untreated. If we do allow the Act to be implemented, the government is going to use the vehicle of taxes to enter and control every aspect of our lives. Trying to Influence voters using fear and exaggeration -- I don't like it!

IWD:

Note from IWD: For the second year in a row, IWD “scooped" the New York Times when it came to collecting interesting advice from commencement speakers. If you’d like to see who they thought should be quoted, use this link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/us/graduation-speakers-offer-advice-idealism-and-humor.html?pagewanted=all

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