I have earlier shared great commencement speeches. See this lesson plan.
A commencement speech or commencement address is a speech given to graduating students, generally at a university, although the term is also used for secondary education institutions and in similar institutions around the world.
This year I would like to share the speech by Daniel H. Ping; Ignoring your way to success.
- Read parts of the speech below
- Listen to the speech
- Write a short commentary on the content and modify it to make it your own, max 3 minutes.
- Practice your speech before you present it in class.
Your most valuable possession – today and in the future – is something you can’t see.
Something you can’t touch. Something you can’t encase in a frame and display on a wall. It is your attention.
Most of us don’t realize it, but we become what we pay attention to. Eventually, we are what we pay attention to. Regret is our most misunderstood emotion. It hurts. It lingers. It exists in every place and in every person. A half-century of research — in social psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science – shows that this painful emotion is one of our most common.
But that’s weird, right? Why would something so unpleasant be so ubiquitous?
The answer is simple: Because it’s useful. If we treat our regrets properly – not ignoring them and not wallowing in them, but confronting them – they clarify what we value and instruct us how to live.
Moral regrets sound like this: If only I’d done the right thing. A decent foundation – enough stability so that life is not precarious. Boldness – a chance to learn and grow and do something meaningful during the vanishingly short time we’re alive. Morality – being good and decent and just. Connection – having people we love and who love us.
And that, my friends, is where you should point your precious attention. Everything else?
Ignore it. This last point is crucial. In all your years of schooling, I bet nobody ever taught you how to ignore. That’s a shame. Because ignoring will be the secret to your success.