Be Yourself

 In Reflections

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” —Oscar Wilde

With graduations coming up, a quote about the importance of being yourself reminded me of the great commencement speeches given over the years.

One of my favorites was Steve Jobs’ commencement address in 2005. Reading the speech later, I imagine I was as inspired as those hearing his words live. Years after my last graduation, I felt as ready as any graduate for a new beginning.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

—Steve Jobs

As graduation season arrives this week in Austin and goes throughout June around the country, we can vicariously soak up some inspiring words thanks to how swiftly the best speeches are posted on the internet. Do you have a favorite graduation speech that still guides you whenever you’re ready to embark on a new phase of life? 

Whatever your age and wherever you are on your life’s journey, be open to hearing or reading some powerful words of wisdom that can be as meaningful to you as they are to any young graduate.

May you embrace the energy of graduation season and be open to hearing words of wisdom to inspire you this summer and beyond.

The Greatest Accomplishment

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

You Decide

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
― Maya Angelou

I Am Myself

This flower,
this light,
this moment,
this silence ―
The Lord is here.
Best because the flower is itself,
and the silence is itself,
and I am myself.

― Thomas Merton, as quoted in Lost in Wonder by Esther de Waal

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