The Best Commencement Keynote Address

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Adam Savage’s Commencement keynote address to Sarah Lawrence College

I actually spent an inordinate amount of time in my 20’s thinking that I was too UNspecialized.

Wanna know how to work hard? It’s not complicated. All you have to do is listen. Listen to what’s going on around you. Learn how the project you’re working on fits into the big picture. Learn how you fit in. Pay attention.

When you genuinely understand how the big picture works, you start being able to anticipate changes, adapt your behavior, or output. You do this and you will simply do your job better, and you’ll make the job of everyone around you easier.

When solving a problem as a generalist (or to use a more arcane term: a polymath), I can compare the many fields I’ve dabbled in, their techniques, their philosophies, the ways in which they alter the lens through which I see things, and I can gain a literal perspective on what I’m doing.

This process will repeat itself ad nauseum throughout your entire life. Everything you think now will likely be different in five years, and the more frequently you realize this, the better it will be for you. We are never finished products, we are all works in progress.

Remember that you have plenty of time.

Remember that you have time to figure out what you want to do. Who you need to be. Where you want to go. You have time to fail. You have time to mess up. You have time to try again. And when you mess that up, you still have time. Just so long as you’re willing to work hard.

Read the full speech here

I feel like what he said is somewhat a reflection of my life, on where am I right now.

Suddenly I feel lost.

I feel incomplete and incapable of doing anything good.

I learn skills easily. I could comprehend fast.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

I got dreams. I have set goals. But they keep on going further away from me.

The stars are changing but I must sway with the wind.

I must not lose hope.

I will work hard and I will reach my goal.

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