Monday, June 13, 2011

Why I Loved Conan O'Briens' Commencement Speech

Conan O'Brien recently gave the commencement speech at Dartmouth. It was brillant and yery funny.Try to catch it on youtube if you get a chance.He has some mentally healthy commentary and advice for college grads.I found the reaction of the college president,directly behind Conan, just as funny as his advice.From the perspective of managing change using effective cognitive therapy techniques and schemas,he is spot on.

Conan points out that life is unfair.Accept that reality now,and save yourself time and wasted energy.As hard as you work for a college degree, you now enter a job market where the competition is stiff.And there are all those college drop-outs out there like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg that are in the mix,too.

Conan also shares the insight that your goals keep changing throughout your life and because of your experiences.Disappointments help you clarify and refine your plans.In the speech, he did a beautiful job of using his own recent career struggles as a case in point.He always thought that the pinnacle of success for comedians was to host the Tonight Show.It had been promised to him by the network for over 5 years.We all know what happened. That baby boomer,Jay Leno,refused to stay away and came back to take over.Conan had to reinvent himself and find new ways to reach his audience,including stand-up shows across the US,cultivating a twitter following,and eventually a show on a lesser known cable TV station.

Just as we couldn't imagine ten years ago where we would be today,we can't know exactly where we will be in ten more years.Staying open-minded,humble,creative,and innovative is essential.It might be that on your way to your goal you hit bumps,cliffs,and great disappointment.All of those life experiences might end up making you more interesting and finding your way to a different goal that is all your own.

Here's to Conan,and the class of 2011.May you be tenacious,innovative,and not let the search get you down.The disappointments will only make your victories sweeter.May you pursue not only work and happiness,but also a life with meaning.

Click on the following link to see Conan O'Brien commencement address -

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