A Windee Graduation Speech: Avoiding The Road Not Worth Taking


The following is one of a series published here every graduation season


“Thank you for that roaring ovation. Throwing the rose peddles was touching and even more so because they were the kind I requested.

While most speeches speak to soaring platitiudes and grandiose goals, I offer far more practical, albeit strategic, advice.

In a speech I recently gave, I advised graduates that their success would be directly tied to the people they surround themselves with.

This means it’s important not to surround yourself with people who will not make you successful as well as avoiding bad deals.

There are people out there who can only lower your batting average and choices which while giving instant gratification will only be bad for you in the long run. Such must be avoided.

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Choices in life may not be so obvious nor easy to make


To be with people who will benefit you, you can’t be with those who will not.

And such choices will not always be easy nor obvious. One of the harder things to do in life is to accept one facet of the quixotic refrigerator magnet wisdom:  grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Accepting that certain people will not be a part of your winning team can be difficult, but must be done.

In 1986, President Reagan, in Reykjavik, Iceland, walked away from what would have been a short-term political victory in a nuclear arms deal with the Soviet Union because he knew that the deal was bad for the country. It took fortitude but he had it. A year later he got the deal he wanted.

You too will be tested throughout your personal and professional lives with bad options disguised as good ones. I urge you to walk away from such.

Finally, I close with wisdom that your administration here at Moneteria University required that I impart today in order to speak before you: be generous alumni and give often to your alma mater.

I will go home now and take a hot bath for 2 hours.

Godspeed to you all.

-I.M. Windee

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