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Lessons to learn from Jodi Picoult’s commencement speech at Princeton

Jodi Lynn Picoult is an American author. Born on May 19, 1966 Jodi bagged the New England Bookseller Award for fiction in 2003.Many of her creations are adapted into Television and even feature film. It is considered that Picoult currently has approximately 14 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Jodi was invited to deliver 2016 Class Day Address by the Princeton University with a vision to guide the awarding graduate for the future. She of course delivered the words of wisdom but she wisely weaved some of her real life experiences into them as well, which made this commencement speech even better.

Being an author she have a good command on language, she however used simple words and delivered an inspiring speech. What I like the most in her speech is her love for hamanity. I personally feel that just material success or achievements doesn’t give us inner joy and peace. It is our genuine and good works, which makes us human in real aspects.

We are glad to see the commencement speech is made available by Princeton on the public domain of Youtube. It makes it available for everyone around the globe to watch it and have their own learning from it.

Commencement speech video, uploaded by Princeton:

Our views:

Below given are the life lessons we learn from it along with some worth to note points, words, phrases and more. This is purely our assessment of the speech and we welcome you to share yours via comments below.

Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re capable of, until you’re told no.

After telling in brief about how she was approached to deliver the speech and what her intial reactions were, she told some stuff from her own experiences.

I wasn’t trying to change history — I just wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. I didn’t know how big, until it was in retrospect – we all should believe in.

Then she uttered one of the most important fact – Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re capable of, until you’re told no.

Face a challenge and explore your abilities

Face a challenge and explore your abilities

We have experienced the same in many real situations, right? Of course, when there is a challenging task to be done, there comes some inner strength helping us to overcome some of our limitations.

Gym trainers always tell their trainees that, transforming your body is more mental challenge then the physical one. Of course, it requires a lot of hard work at physical level, but it’s mind over body game for sure.

We see people finding the way to survive in extreme conditions by making use of whatever resources available. They survives through their will power. When you are deprived from something, you will automatically start looking for an alternative way to accomplish your goal. And that often lead to innovations also. So remember that, sometimes you are told “No” when you expected “Yes”, challenge yourself to push beyond the boundaries you think of, and you may see a miracle 🙂 In Jodi’s own words:

When someone tells you no, you have two choices. You can stop in your tracks. Or you can push forward by raising questions most people would rather not hear, much less discuss.

Pass the microphone to someone whose opinions have been marginalized or previously unheard. And listen.

Listen others, and you may find inspiring stuffs

Listen others, and you may find inspiring stuffs

Real life isn’t everything about I, me and mine. We need to think beyond that. We need to remember that at whatever stage we are, it is because of support of our loved ones. Our parents, teachers, relatives, friends and some strangers also, have played a vital role in our growing up.

As it is said, “we’ve got two ears and one tongue, so we need to listen more”.

The bigger task needs team efforts to accomplish. We cannot even win a game or war alone. So building a team and growing it as a network is always eseential.

Support others, as you are supported by others

Support others, as you are supported by others

And how can you expect someone to hear you? By hearing him/her. Understanding his point of view, his point of view, and then apply your wisdom.

So, yes, please here the one, who are unheard. Sometimes they are the ones who are most importantly needs to be heard.

Real life isn’t a multiple choice test.

As Jodi says…

It’s okay to admit you don’t have the right answer… as long as you’re asking the right questions. Here’s the catch: you’ll have to hear suggestions you vehemently oppose.

We often expect too much from ourselves. Sometimes beyond our ability. Though it is really good to push the limits to achieve the things which look impossible. Having a reality check is even more important.

You may not have answers to all the questions of life, so what? Just go ahead and accept the fact. Hear from others. Make sure to ask right questions to get right answers. And you have to keep your mind open. You have to be ready to welcome something, which you may personally don’t like, but is for greater good.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

This is one of the most heard wisdom one liner. When you are working as a team member, you have to think about the entire team. Sometimes you need to do what is required, rather than what you want to do.

You always need a shoulder to cry and even share you joy

You always need a shoulder to cry and even share you joy

A wise batsman will not try to hit six on every ball in the cricket. Sometimes he is required to keep his wicket and wait for the right time. So his decision is based on the team’s requirement.

That’s the thing which distinguish a good leader from the great leader. When you go for greater good, your actions will lead to the betterment of the society (or larger segment of the society). So please remember that, we are social animals and we have to think for others also. All our actions cannot be self centered. And we can also expand the boundaries here even more. Why should we think about only fellow humans, we can think about other species and even entire mother earth, and even the universe. A true human should believe in the famous Indian saying: वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम|. Jodi says that…

That is the difference between sowing the seeds of hate, and creating a foundation of respect.

Do what you love, not what pays the most. Be kind. Be grateful. Don’t just fall in love — stay in love.

These are of course the ultimate words of wisdom which we need to implant not only within us, but need to seed them in the next generation. It will help them to grow up as better human beings.

Be true to your moral compass.

Whatever you tell to others, you know what you did actually. So just follow your heart. Make sure what you do is the right thing to do. You need to make sure that your actions should not be that your conceous bite you later. And only wisom will let you behave that way. So be wise.

You will be tempted to do what’s easy, instead of what’s fair. You will be swayed to step on someone else so you can rise. You may even manage to convince yourself that you had no other option. That’s not true. You always have a choice to work for the greater good, to nurture the spark of what makes us accountable to each other. In fact, your only job, as an official grownup, is to not lose sight of that flame.

Some important links to follow:

Transcript of the entire commencement speech is available on Princeton website here

Official Website of Jodi Lynn Picoult: http://www.jodipicoult.com
Jodi’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/jodipicoult
Follow Jodi Twitter: @JodiPicoult
Jodi’s Instragram profile: https://instagram.com/jodipicoult”
Jodi is available on SoundClud at: https://soundcloud.com/jodi-picoult

Over to you:

We would like to re-iterate the fact that, these views are our understanding of the fantastic speech given by Anne-Marie Slaughter. Let us know if you think if we have missed something, which you found interesting in the speech.

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