Who doesn’t love a story of grit, determination and fighting against odds to come out on top. Better yet, if it comes from a Global celebrity, the story has the strength to inspire millions to be the best they can be!

Other than TED Talks, the most common place to find serious inspiration is Graduation ceremonies. College graduation ceremonies, especially in the United States, have developed almost a ritual of inviting a well-known celebrity to deliver an inspiring speech to the graduating students.

Well, we are not complaining. Inspiration is always welcome!

Here are some of the most popular graduation speeches where celebrities mesmerized the audience.

 

1) Steve Jobs at Stanford University, 2005

his is the famous speech of Steve Jobs that gave birth to the ubiquitous phrase “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. Jobs calls death to be the best invention of life and everyone stays away from it. Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. He emphasizes the point that life is short, so make the most of it. The inner voice must be on high volume than all the external noises combined. The primary thing in life is to follow your heart and intuition and rest all is secondary.

 

 

 

2) Bill Gates at Harvard University, 2007

In the introduction of Bill Gates, the dean of Harvard jocularly said that had he spent two more years to get the degree, he would have been more successful; for which Gates remarked that he chose the other way around – to be successful first and earn the degree later. Gates advises the students to pick a complex problem and develop a solution to it. That eventually makes them a specialist. He harps on the point of not getting trapped in the complexity and find simple ways out for any complex situation.

 

 

 

3) Robert De Niro at NYU, 2015

In his speech at NYU, De Niro talks about all the difficult and senseless practices he followed as an actor and to hit the stardom. He says the world is tough out there and someone wants you to do things repeatedly. For this, you have to find a smart way out but not deter your spirit. He encourages students to chase their artistic dreams even if they fear rejection and stick to your choice once you have made it.

 

 

4) Shah Rukh Khan at Yale University, 2012

Shah Rukh in his true comical style says that the world is standing on your oxygen tube, so ask it to step aside so that you can get some life. He asks everyone to be a funambulist – a tightrope walker, balancing your footsteps and ensuring not to fall before you reach the destination. He amused the crowd with his wisecrack, “Honest and fake defines a creative person all the time”. The King Khan makes way for some soul-searching and says when the world is tearing you into pieces, hang on to who you are truly from the inside, and learn to laugh about yourself. The one killer line is “Creativity is food for the soul, not for your stomach.”

 

 

 

5) J K Rowling at Harvard, 2008

The best-selling author of the Harry Potter series reiterated that failure is the stepping stone to success and mentioned how she got rejected several times before finally getting an acceptance for her path-breaking series. She says imagination is the best tool you have to adopt and when you go back in time, more than achievements, you should see life all over it. She professes that life is not a check-list of successful travails, so fill it with all the happiness you can.

 

Which speech did you like the most? Let us know why in the comments section.