Some days ago I stumbled upon this year’s commencement speech at Harvard University by Fareed Zakaria (I found it via Armin Wolf). You should watch it, it is totally inspiring!

This reminded me of last year’s commencement speech at Northwestern University by Stephen Colbert, probably the best commencment speech I have seen so far (*). So right now I watched it again.

It is very funny and well delivered, and there is a lot of wisdom in it.

You have been told to follow your dreams. But - what if it's a stupid dream? [...] Thankfully dreams can change. If we'd all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.

There were several times in my life when my dreams changed. Sometimes only a little, but sometimes they changed a lot. So far I am happy with where I got that way. But still, you should try to live your dream. So here is the really important part of the speech:

So, whatever your dream is right now, if you don't achieve it, you haven't failed, and you're not some loser. But just as importantly, if you do get your dream, you are not a winner.

Life is not about winning or losing. Living your dream is not about winning or losing. It’s not us against the others or anything like that. For me it also is not about success or being better than others. I want to do what I love and be really good at it. I want to build great stuff and learn as much as I can along the way. And I want to spend time with people I respect and love. The specific goals - what exactly I want to build or learn - might change over time. But this is a good thing, because usually these changes are for a reason.

I want to close with another Colbert-quote. After you have read it, go and watch the two speeches. It only takes 40 minutes, and in my opinion, they are a great way to spend this time!

In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love. [...] If you love friends, you will serve friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself. So no more winning. Instead, try to love others and serve others, and hopefully find those who love and serve you in return.

(*) Well, I only saw a few on youtube. Anyway.