How has the desire to be accepted by others interfered with your life?
” That’s how Oprah Winfrey began her speech at yesterday’s Harvard University graduation ceremony—in her spirited, signature way.“Not too many girls from rural Mississippi have made it all the way here to Cambridge,” she said of the honor of speaking at the Massachusetts-based college.
When we embrace who we are and decide to be authentic, instead of who we think others want us to be, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness, and real success. There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. In the long run, it’s better to be loathed for who you are than loved for who you are not.
In fact, the only relationships that work well in the long run are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person you used to be.
Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. You will spend all your time looking a certain way, instead of living a certain way.
It’s impossible to live without failing sometimes, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all – you’re merely existing.
But you know better than that – material things don’t matter. Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive.
Go for the things of greater value – the things money can’t buy. Let go of the foolish need to prove yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you.
“We all know that we are better than the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitated throughout Washington and the 24-hour cable news cycle,” she said.
But the media mogul spent most of her 30-minute speech advising the new graduates on how best to navigate the next chapter of their lives.
What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. The only people that will fault you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.