Oprah Winfrey was the the principal speaker at the Afternoon Exercises of Harvard’s 362nd Commencement on May 30, 2013. She stated there is no such thing a failure. Failure is life just moving us in another direction. The lesson from failure is to learn from every mistake. Failure is teaching you by forcing you into being more who you are. if you’re willing to listen to, be guided by, that still small voice. When you connect with your inner consciousness, that still small voice, you are ready to figure out the next right thing to do.
It doesn’t matter how far you might rise. At some point you are bound to stumble because if you’re constantly doing what we do, raising the bar. If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher, higher the law of averages not to mention the Myth of Icarus predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction. Now when you’re down there in the hole, it looks like failure. So this past year I had to spoon feed those words to myself. And when you’re down in the hole, when that moment comes, it’s really okay to feel bad for a little while. Give yourself time to mourn what you think you may have lost but then here’s the key, learn from every mistake because every experience, encounter, and particularly your mistakes are there to teach you and force you into being more who you are. And then figure out what is the next right move. And the key to life is to develop an internal moral, emotional G.P.S. that can tell you which way to go.
From time to time you may stumble, fall, you will for sure, count on this, no doubt, you will have questions and you will have doubts about your path. But I know this, if you’re willing to listen to, be guided by, that still small voice that is the G.P.S. within yourself, to find out what makes you come alive, you will be more than okay. You will be happy, you will be successful, and you will make a difference in the world.
It seems odd that college students are presented with these words of wisdom AFTER they have earned their degrees. Students need to absorb, practice, and begin to develop their moral and emotional life path during their college experience.
Are you just covering content or are you helping your students to prepare for life by helping them to develop an internal moral, emotional G.P.S. ?