Graduation Speech: Explore. Dream. Discover

Graduation Speech: Explore. Dream. Discover

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I am about to give you a final challenge as a high school student. I am about to ask you to do something you were sure you wouldn’t have to do again for a while with the ending of high school. I am asking you to think. Please, just this once, take a moment to put that educated mind to work. Think of something you really want right now, go ahead, don’t complain, just do it. What do you really want?

A few of you searched your minds and out of the millions of things you are sure you want, not one could surface above the rest. The most common thoughts you had were probably "I want to eat" or "I want to sleep" or, "I want to move this hanging thing over to the other side of my cap now so that I can be on my way." There’s something in common with what everyone just thought about. It’s something to make you happy.

In a world of ever-growing business and technology, we hear about the new millionaires captured by stocks and the booming world of computers and along with them the amounts of money beyond the comprehension of most of us. This year, I believe I speak for the majority when I say we’ve felt so poor, cutting back on McDonald’s and TCBY to save up for an expensive trip to prom, a grad night party and college applications for which you sent the money away and weren’t even guaranteed anything but probably a nice postcard in return. Now, all of a sudden if we end up somehow with a $5 bill in hand, we think we’re all set and ready to go. A $5 bill is endless possibilities. The truth is, you won’t miss your $30 application fee in a few years, you’ll be happy if you have a job you look forward to every day. You won’t miss the money you spent on prom in 10 years, you’ll be happy if you are content with your life. Perhaps for you this means a family. As Einstein once said, "Happiness is the ability to enjoy the passage of time."

Different people can reach happiness in so many different ways, but to everyone it is all that really matters. At this point in our lives it’s difficult not to think that happiness is had by material products — the newest technology, the nicest clothes around, or that car you probably aren’t getting for graduation.

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But we must not lose sight of what really should make us happy.

To obtain this goal you must be true to yourself and listen with your heart and mind. No matter how often you fell asleep during the movies in class, or maybe just when the teachers kept on talking, you learned more than you probably think. You learned not only from others but from yourself as well, by the decisions you made, the sports and clubs you enjoyed and the friends who stayed by your side. To further discover what will keep a smile on your face and give you a good laugh, keep your proper goals in mind.

As Mark Twain once stated, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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