Below is the foundation for a good graduation speech. You can add some personal stories, perhaps include a story about a person or two who you admire. This speech, with a little editing, can also be an inspirational speech to give to any youth group, or even to motivate a sales group.
MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN
This is something I did not know when I graduated from college.
You can make things happen.
I did not know that when I graduated from college and you may not either. Because the last few years, you have not been making things happen. You have been in a reactive mode. The teacher assigns a paper, you write it. There is a chemistry test tomorrow, you study for it. There is a lecture, you attend it.
But you can make things happen.
Unfortunately, people go to college to “get a good job.” Again that is a reactive mode. You go to college, you get a good job, you do what the boss wants. Not unlike college, your bosses speak, they order you around, you react.
But you can make things happen.
You can open your own accounting firm. Create jobs for hundreds of college graduates.
You can open your own ad agency, Create jobs for all those English and art majors.
You can start your own volunteer organization. Help people who are too tired and desperate, at the moment, to help themselves. Give them a chance, like you had, to make something of their lives.
You can go out and build a house for a homeless person.
You can change a child’s life by becoming a mentor.
You can take a weed covered vacant lot in the inner city, turn it into housing for the homeless, a garden, a playground.
You can run for city council, mayor, the State Legislature, Congress, even President.
You can change the world , even when you are dead, by having children that carry , into the next century, your morals and values and belief that you can make things happen .
In short, you can make things happen.
How can this mindset help you in life? A quick example. A good sales person does not wait for the phone to ring. He goes out and makes things happen. A small business owner does not wait for people to knock on his door, he goes out and knocks on doors, creates opportunities for himself and his business, he makes things happen.
But you have to escape the mindset that college instilled in you all. You have to quit being reactive. Start being proactive. You no longer have to worry about what is due Monday, how much homework you have this weekend, what does Dr. Babble want for the final thesis.
Now you have to shift into another mode. The mode, the belief that you can make things happen, that you can make life better for people. And if each one of you makes life better for just one person this year, you have started a life long career of making things happen.
Henry Ford made things happen. Bill Gates made things happen. Steve Jobs made things happen. The connection between all three is that none of them had a college degree, because they were anxious to get out in the world and make things happen.
Hopefully hours of studying , hours of mind numbing lectures and hours of busy work, have not buried your entrepreneur spirit.
America will not continue to be strong if we all work for the government. Our economy always has and always will depend on people who make things happen. Every major corporation has been founded by someone who made things happen.
Every major invention that has launched new industries, the car and the computer are two obvious examples, were launched by people who made things happen.
To be blunt, I firmly believe that we need less people wringing their hands, moaning about the economy, and complaining they can’t find a job. We need more people who make things happen.
One final thought – ask yourself as you leave college. What can I make happen? And how do I start accomplishing that?