These are two of the most inspiring speeches I’ve heard from people successful in their different careers – Steve Jobs and J.K.Rowling. Both of them begin with some reminiscing about their college lives and move on to talk about lessons learned from their lives. Jobs even manages to take a dig at Microsoft while talking about the importance of doing what you love – and Rowling talks about not fearing failure and the power of imagination to uplift not just ours, but others’ lives as well.
1. Steve Jobs stanford commencement address 2005
My favourite quote in his speech?
You have to understand that you can’t connect the dots looking forward – you can connect them only looking backward. …Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path – and that will make all the difference.
2. J.K Rowling Harvard commencement 2008
She keeps the tone light almost throughout – you are guaranteed a few laughs along the way.
She speaks about fulfilling parents’ dreams and how she struggled through in her initial stages after finishing college and that was my favourite part –
Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticized by fools.