2012 MIT Commencement Address – Sal Khan of KhanAcademy.org

Highlights:

* Start every morning with a smile — even a forced one — it will make you happier. Replace the words “I have to” with “I get to” in your vocabulary. Smile with your mouth, your eyes, your ears, your face, your body at every living thing you see. Be a source of energy and optimism. Surround yourself with people that make you better. Realize or even rationalize that the grass is truly greener on your side of the fence. Just the belief that it is becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

* When you gain or lose material things, remember how silly they really are.  How little they mean relative to your health and relationships…Remember that real success is maximizing your internally derived happiness. It will not come from external status or money or praise. It will come from a feeling of contribution. A feeling that you are using your gifts in the best way possible.

* Also remember that whom you choose as a life partner is a far more important decision than what career you choose to pursue. If you are lucky enough to have a true equal, someone who fills you with joy and emotional contentment, with whom you have deep shared values, who respects you and loves you for your innate you-ness; no superficial, external failure or conflict can faze you.

* If you ever feel inspired, take action with it. Don’t let anyone tell you why you shouldn’t; at least lace up and give it a try.

* Keep in mind that if you care about someone, but not enough to commit to them, the most selfish thing you can do is not let them move on.

* Go forth with your careers, but leave space for your passions. Remember that you are much, much more than a title or a bank account. You are dancers and poets, inventors and athletes, musicians and innovators. If you give your passions room to breathe, you might find that is all they need to help you move the dial forward for everyone.

 

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