Ellen DeGeneres: Define Your Own Success
Tulane, 2009: My idea of success is different today. And as you grow, you’ll realize the definition of success changes. For many of you, today, success is being able to hold down 20 shots of tequila. For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity, and not to give in to peer pressure. To try to be something that you’re not. To live your life as an honest and compassionate person. To contribute in some way.
So to conclude my conclusion: Follow your passion, stay true to yourself. Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, and by all means you should follow that. Don’t give advice, it will come back and bite you in the ass. Don’t take anyone’s advice. So my advice to you is to be true to yourself and everything will be fine.
Tom Brokaw: Know That Less Can Be More
University of Montana, 2011: We may not have given you a perfect world, but we have given you dynamic opportunities for leaving a lasting legacy as a generation fearless and imaginative, tireless and selfless in pursuit of solutions to these monumental problems, a generation that emerged from this financial tsunami and rebuilt the landscape of their lives with an underpinning of sound values and an eye for proportion, knowing, in fact, that less can be more. It will not be easy, but I can promise you it will be rewarding in ways that a Wall Street bonus or a shot on American Idol cannot compete.
So where to begin? … It will be the most rewarding if it is rooted in personal passion and carried out with purpose, even when the first steps are small. You have an assortment of nimble and powerful tools that can assist you, and the Internet, with its vast universe of information and a capacity for research and communications playing out on ever-smaller devices across an ever-widening spectrum of choices. But those are tools; they're not oracles. They complement your mind and your heart, but they do not replace them.