The best commencement speech I never heard was Steve Jobs’ Stanford University speech given on June 7, 2005. I urge you to Google it and commit it forever to your brain. In about eight minutes Jobs presented a practical, realistic, and candid address to the graduates, parents and faculty.
One portion of his speech was based on thoughts he had after being diagnosed with cancer. “Your time is limited,” he said, “so don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other peoples’ thinking… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
Along with a vision of your dreams, there are some hard practicalities. I am slightly removed from the college scene — my own Stanford days were long ago — but I do have a distillation to offer you what I have witnessed, experienced and sometimes failed at, in many years of living. I found that bringing problems down to their simple core, having the courage to charge ahead, and taking the first steps that are necessary toward what you want to do (instead of just thinking about all of it) helped. It means that you are becoming a meaningful specific instead of a wandering generality.