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Things to learn from Meredith Vieira’s commencement speech at Boston University

We respect the tradition of convocation ceremony. It gives student a chance to be proud (rightly) for what they have achieved in terms of education. To add to the ceremony values, University calls successful people to attend the ceremony and address the graduates.

The idea behind this tradition is to give the students, who are about to put their feet in the real world, inspiration and advise. And more importantly, not just the bookish advice or just abstract ideological stuff, but, the advice which is the result of real life experience(s).

The list of such notable speakers include the famous politicians and leaders, celebrities, successful entrepreneurs and businessmen, book authors and lawyer and … Yes, the list can go on.

Boston University is respected around the world for the quality education it provides. The Boston University have invited Meredith Vieira to deliver a speech at its 142nd commencement ceremony (May 2015).

Meredith Louise Vieira popularly knwon as Meredith Vieira is an American journalist and talk show and game show host. If you would like to know more about her, you will find the following links interesting:
Wikipedia page about her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meredith_Vieira
The official site for her show: http://meredithvieirashow.com/
Her personal twitter handle: https://twitter.com/meredithvieira
Twitter handle for her show: https://twitter.com/MeredithShow

Here is our personal assessment of the commencement speech she delivered. We found it quite inspirational and realist at the same time. Being a journalist she is well aware with the incidents happened in recent times, and she intelligently refers them in her speech where applicable.

Uncertainty Makes Life More Interesting:

You don’t know what’s about to hit you. And that’s the great thing about life
How boring would the journey be if you already knew for sure the final destination?
Enjoy the ride.

That is very true of course. As we don’t know what is in the basket of the future, we are putting all our efforts to earn more, save more and secure our future. It also helps us in diversifying our investments also. It is true about almost every aspect of the life. And if know our future, will we put all the genuine efforts behind the same?

Faith, Openness and Initiation:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Open yourself up to possibilities you might never have considered.
Step up…step out of your comfort zone…consider saying yes, even when no feels much safer.

It is said that even the voyage to reach the moon or mars also starts with the first small step only. And which makes you to take the first step? Your faith in the plan that you will be able to success.

So if you want to get success you need to visualize it in your brain.

But just doing that is not enough. As per the famous Sanskrut (Sanskrit) Subhashit:

उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथैः ।
न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ।।

Until and unless you put efforts to do the work, it is not going to be completed at all. No matter how passionate you are about it. And here is one more Subhashit that we love:

कुसुमं वर्णसंपन्नं गन्धहीनं न शोभते।
न शोभते क्रियाहीनं मधुरं वचनं तथा॥

It means that no matter how good the flower looks, if it doesn’t have the pleasing smell or fragrance, we don’t find it beautiful. Same way just good words without putting any actions into it, is meaningless.

And to achieve the success, you have to push harder than you can. Your passion towards to task should be reflected in your actions. Your commitment should be evident. Remember, what body builders do; the one or two reps you can do, after the failure, are responsible for the muscle growth. And, it is more of a mental challenge than the physical.

Hard work and Loyalty are the keys:

I’m not suggesting it’s going to be easy. Your journey forward comes with some built in stumbling blocks.
The only way to gain respect would be to out work everyone else.
As for loyalty, that’s a two way street.

Meredith strongly suggests that the journey towards the success is not going to busy. And it cannot be of course. You need to work harder than the others to get better results then them. It is not a rocket science, just the thumb rule. And yes, when you put all your genuine efforts to achieve success, the respects comes your way. People who respect you should respect by hear, not just to make you feel that. We often see tons of people are claiming to be friend of a celebrity or successful person. But how many of them are loyal or real ones? Probably very few. And if you expect someone to be loyal to you, you have to be loyal to them, to your commitment, to your goal.

Likes and Dislikes

You want people to actually like you, not just give you “likes.”
Don’t be so sure. Life is famous for throwing curve balls when you least expect them.

Every coin has two sides. So when you get likes you will get dislikes also. It is inevitable. However first you need to understand who really likes you and your work. Just getting likes in the social media is different than the real people actually like you and your work.

Sometimes we get overconfident about our efforts and the results of the same. Make yourself ready for the unexpected incidents as well. It is not about being pessimistic, it is about being careful.

To make her point even clear she adds the following:

“do you think you have what it takes?” I said “yes.” To which he replied, “then it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.” There will always be people putting you down. There will always be people rooting for you to fail.
You have to believe in yourself or no one else will. In order to swim you have to drown out the naysayers.

She than motivates the students by bringing the fact to them:

You’re all smart or you wouldn’t be here today…

And, yes, she is pretty correct here. It is not just anyone can achieve a degree from such a remarkable university. It is an achievement in itself.

She then inspires the graduates to not be fearful of unexplored. She says that:

There’s a reason I’ve always loved Robert Frost’s poem “the road not taken” because i think he was on to something. Following the road less travelled really does mean making all the difference. Heck, i’m still forging my own way…trying to balance work and family.

Her following lines makes us to remember the famous lines of Prof. Dumbledore in Harry Potter books that means, “your choices make you who you are”.

In life you have to do multitasking. And there comes time when you need to do everything but prioritize some over the others. You real self, your guts, your intelligence, your abilities and your weaknesses are evident in such time. So unless you clearly identify what matters you the most, you are likely to take wrong decisions.

Throughout your life you will have to set your own priorities…make your own decisions. They won’t always be the best or brightest ones. But that’s how you learn. And come to understand who you really are and what matters to you.

After saying that, Meredith focuses one more fact which is related to the same advice. We often spend our life in living someone else life. Or to be precise, as per some other’s ideology. Remember, you cannot please everyone. And sometimes you need to take harsh decisions in life. If you keep trying to please others, you will never be able to live your own life.

Don’t strive for somebody else’s notion of perfection. It’s an unattainable and ultimately ridiculous goal. Strive instead to be uniquely yourself. And…when in doubt…listen to your gut…because it already knows what you want to become.

Our perceptions are often a jail into itself. When you ask someone to define success in most of the cases the wealth and happiness are considered as same. Some adds social status and pride to that. But we often stop there. Based on the working area (or job/business) a couple of other things may matter for the people. And in that case they forget to see the whole life as a bigger picture. If you focus on one area of the painting and try to make it perfect, you may miss out the other areas. And ultimately you may lead to on 1 or 10 percent good picture, while missing the rest!

We’re so conditioned to think in terms of the big job, the big salary, in the case of journalism…the big scoop…that we sometimes forget to see the big picture.

One more advise we like from the speech is:

Never to be squandered or taken for granted.

We often hear wise people saying “Keep alive the child within you”. They refer the qualities here. The enthusiasm, the honesty, the genuineness, the hardworking approach and all the other qualities which we possess as a child must remain there through out the life.

Don’t ever lose your enthusiasm. Don’t suddenly become self conscious. Don’t be that person who puts on a suit and takes off his glasses mid sentence like this because he thinks it makes him look smart. Trust me, unless you’r the incredible cbs correspondent ed bradley, who was really cool, or maybe a tv lawyer. It looks good for them. But with everyone else, it’s just affect.

Being a journalist she knows how to weave the trending events.

Stay away from affects. Better yet, be the left shark.

Life isn’t all that complicated. Things are what they are. Don’t read into everything. Just do your best and try to do no harm.

If we remain true to our work by all means, take right decisions and we have almost solved the puzzle of life.

Remember, this is our take away from the speech. We are thankful to the University to make the video available in the public domain.

If you want to read entire transcript of this commencement speech, please visit http://www.bu.edu/news/2015/05/17/boston-universitys-142nd-commencement-address-meredith-vieira/

You may got to learn something more from it which we might have missed. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in any case.

You may also like to read our summarized views regarding some other commencement speeches, which we found interesting, inspirational, motivational and got a chance to write about. What you think about this commencement speech? Do share your reviews and views via comments below. And yes, do not forget to share this article with your friends over various social networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and others. And yes, you may like to subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on various Social networks to get latest updates for the site to land right in your mail box.

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