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Inspirational Speeches by World Celebrities

Whether you are a student or a worker, challenges are always present. It is with grit that you should face them. Success stories never fail to impress and motivate us. Sometimes they give us a push to unleash our full potential and write our own success stories.  

Here’s a selection of inspirational speeches by world figures who went through challenges themselves to keep everyone inspired!

‘How to live before you die’ by Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs delivered a commencement address at Stanford on June 12, 2005. In this speech, Steve Jobs highlighted stories of his life that shaped him.

“[], you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. (...). Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. (...) Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

'The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination' by J.K Rowling

J.K Rowling addressed Harvard graduates on their commencement on June 5, 2008. Inspiring and delighting, it felt like Dumbledore was delivering a speech on Hogwarts’ great hall podium.

“Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality. So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”

Commencement Speech at Maharishi University of Management by Jim Carrey: 

Jim Carrey with a goofy sense of humor managed to deliver an inspiring and enlightening speech at the graduation of MUM’s class of 2014.

“Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head and when the doors open in real life, just walk through it. Don’t worry if you miss your cue. There will always be another door opening. They keep opening.

And when I say, “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way. You’ll come up with your own style, that’s part of the fun!"

Commencement Speech at Tulane University by Ellen DeGeneres


Ellen Degeneres delivered an inspiring commencement address for the class of 2009 at Tulane University.

“[] 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 into 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.”

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