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Commencement Speechs that Count

May 16, 2016

It's that time of year.  Graduates at every academic level - kindergarten through the highest levels of post graduate education - are coming together to "commence" the next stage of their life.  Thanks to today's technology, we all get a peak into the messages delivered by well known celebrities, politicians, coaches and other leaders who feel the pressure to be memorable.  Their audience?  Boys and girls, men and women, all at the doorstep of a transition.

Do you remember your commencement speaker?  If you're like me, probably not.  I got more emotional about hearing the music - Pomp and Circumstance - than anything I heard from the revered guests.

We talk a lot about transition here at The Transition Network.  We created the Women in Transition Workshop which teaches us about the stages of transition.  We meet in Transition Peer Groups to learn how others are building a meaningful life.  We know at this point in our lives we are facing more transitions than at any other single time.  Is there a secret to getting through all of this?  Of course not.  But there is a recurring theme in how to face these changes, both good and not-so-good, and how to come through them in a way that makes us stronger and happier.

I don't know anyone who wasn't moved by the tragedy that struck Sheryl Sandberg a year ago.  Whether you agree with her philosophy of Lean In or not, here was a woman who, by almost anyone's standards, had everything - an amazing career, a beautiful family, a full and complete life.  And in a moment, without warning, her husband was gone.  I can't fathom how one would recover from that. 

In the year since, Sheryl, like many of you who experienced this kind of loss, put one foot in front of another.  Last week, she delivered the commencement speech at the University of California at Berkeley.  In a very personal way, she spoke about resilience.  Resilience is the subject of the next TTN Signature Program currently under development and which is on track to be debuted in the fall.  As a preview of what we will all learn together, I offer a video of Sheryl's commencement address.  Persevere through the ads to hear what she learned and what we look forward to learning more about together in the coming months.    

Happy spring!