I had the privilege to deliver my MBA graduation speech for hundreds of students and being among distinguished speakers such as our national president and president of Lithuania.
Since this speech has been really popular among Estonians, then I decided to create an english transcript of the speech – so you can learn Estonian from the video while reading English text 🙂
English translation for the graduation speech
Please wake up your neighbour and tell him it’ s speech time.
Dear co-creators, teachers, graduates.
It´s a beautiful certificate, it really is.
But it doesn’ t change much.
It doesn’ t change much, because tomorrow my parents will still be as proud of me as they were yesterday. My girlfriend will still love me as much as she did before. My clients will pay me as much as they paid before. And my friends will still want to hang out with me.
It doesn’ t change much… compared to the extent that years in Tartu University have already changed us.
Couple of years ago I met a course-mate and it turned out into a journey of creating a training company that has inspired thousands of people to become a better version of themselves. I believe this company would have never been established, unless we had met during this course.
At night when I go to sleep, I get to say good night to the most beautiful, caring and fabulous girl I have ever met. We met for the first time right here, in Tartu University. She was my course-mate.
This (certificate) doesn’ t change much, but the stories that live inside of you, they change a lot. And it pales when compared with what is coming. It pales when compared with all the stories you will be creating.
Close your eyes for a moment. Breathe in… and out.
Skim the moments you appreciate, moments that empower you. That made you shine. You can imagine your favorite teachers. And while imagining it, do a trick. Pinch your ear and amplify all the good emotions you have inside of you.
Next time when you want to return to that empowering state, just pinch your ear and remind yourself.
The advertisement of Economics faculty did not say “matchmaker” or “business incubator”, but there’ s something more than that. It all supported creating a business, living, joy and work.
There are people who helped us to experience that. Some of them were frustrating, some inspiring. Some of them made us cry, others made us laugh. Some of them made things complicated, others made it simple.
And it’ s all necessary, because only later we connect the dots and understand why something bad, complicated, difficult… was actually awesome for us. Was good for us.
For example, think about your MBA thesis, what do you feel after you’ ve done it? Versus the feeling you had an hour before the deadline and you were still printing it? That’ s the relief that will come after achievement.
I’m honored to use this opportunity to recognize our favorite teachers…
// recognizing favorite professors and lecturers //
So now there should be a some sort of a point, right? Some message, right?
A journalist was running after Mahatma Gandhi, saying “Gandhi! What is your message to the world?”
Gandhi replied: “My life is my message.”
What I would love to do right now is to gather all the lives you have, bit by bit, all the stories that you have. And spread them all over these walls so that everyone could see them and say “This is my message“.
… but I will not do it… Because there’ s not enough room to fit all those experiences and actions that you will do after leaving this room. This is why we paint it to the sky and enjoy observing it among the stars.
If there’ s one thing to ask yourself among this adventure, it is: “What would I really love to do right now?“.
Perhaps it’s the mutual part among all your stories, that we observe among the stars at night.
Ships are safe in harbour, but it’ s not what ships are made for.
You can life a safe life, acting as your mother, friends or wallet tells you.
But it’ s not what you are made for. You are made to create something extraordinary.
Remember the 6 months you spent for writing your MBA thesis. Where you had to say “no” to so many things, admitting “I would really love to, my friends, but I can’ t do that right now, I need to finish my studies.”
This moment is exceptional, because all the things you had to say “no”, you can now say “yes“.
Tonight when you go to your home, take your dreams from the drawers. The ones that you have kept there arguing “when I finish the school, then I will start living!”
Take those dreams and start living today!