All across the country, recent graduates are experiencing the world win of emotions that comes with completing a seminal chapter in their lives...there's fear of the unknown, excitement over possibilities, celebrating achievements, and probably most pressing, the uncertainty about finding a J.O.B. Luckily for those entering the "real world," some of the most influential and inspiring people from around the globe offered up some words of wisdom during their commencement speeches. One of the main themes was courage, which is very much aligned with confidence - a critical building block of success. Rather than seek out the biggest paycheck in your search, make sure you're focused on the most important indicator of your own success - your belief in yourself and an on-going practice of building confidence.

Amal Clooney, Vanderbilt University

"At a time when women all over the world face physical abuse, restrictions on their ability to work, own property, travel, and even having custody over their children, we need courage. At a time when the LGBT community and every continent struggles for equal rights, freedom from imprisonment and even death, we need courage," she said. "And at a time when our politicians try to conflate the terms refugee and terrorist and make us fear one another, we need courage."

Justin Trudeau, New York University

"Here's the challenge I'm offering you today. Our celebration of difference needs to extend to differences of values and beliefs, too. Diversity includes political and cultural diversity. It includes diversity of perspectives and approaches to solving problems...as you go forward from this place, I would like you to make a point of reaching out to people whose beliefs and values differ from your own. Listen, truly listen, and try to understand them, and find that common ground."

Chadwick Boseman, Howard University

"The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you and your purpose. Press on with pride and press on with purpose."

Cynthia Nixon, Helene Fuld College of Nursing

"When you stand up with courage, what you can achieve may surprise even you. And that's what I want to share with you here today: never doubt that you can make a space big enough for yourself in this world."

Tim Cook, Duke University

"The world-class education you've received...gives you opportunities that few people have. You are uniquely qualified, and therefore uniquely responsible, to build a better way forward. That won't be easy. It will require great courage. But that courage will not only help you live your life to the fullest, it will empower you to transform the lives of others."

Oprah Winfrey, University of Southern California

"Vote. Vote. Vote. Pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf. They represent you and if they've not done right by you or if their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing."

Published on: May 18, 2018