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 Who’s your idol? We all have someone we look up to; we view them as our guide, mentor and motivator meaning we are wholly influenced by words, thoughts and actions. Their words resonate and influence our entire mental well being in every possible way. But the greatest part of idolizing someone is we get to choose whom we idolize.

 Some of the greatest leaders of today can usually be found giving one of the most influential and motivating speeches of a lifetime, during commencement.

 Great leaders give moving commencement speeches. They inspire and prepare the young minds of today for the future that lies ahead in what we call, the ‘real world’.

 That said, some of the greatest speeches in the past decade include the genius that is Steve Jobs during the 2005 Stanford commencement ceremony.

 Jobs advised the thousands in the crowd by telling his three famous stories and stating, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

 The renowned Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg also gave a remarkable commencement speech to the 2012 Harvard Business School graduates advising them to "Bring your whole self to work. I don't believe we have a professional self, Monday through Friday and a real self the rest of the time. It is all professional, and it is all personal."

 Another quite inspiring 2010 Dartmouth commencement speech actually came from the legendary late-night talk show host, Conan O’Brien who advised the graduating class in a very realistic manner stating "Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality."

All in all, choose your idols and choose them wisely. Follow the people that light a fire in your mind and in your heart, not the people that bring you down and poison your thoughts.  Seek people who lift you up whether it be idols, friends, acquaintances or coworkers, as they make the greatest impact on us both psychologically and physically. 


About the author


Brooklyn-based Margaret Skowronska is a St. Francis College Communications and Business graduate with an intense curiosity that fuels her drive. She strongly follows the inspirational words of Norman V. Peale, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

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