Bob Iger: Be Bold Commencement Speech Message to UT Austin Graduates
2021 graduates of the University of Texas at Austin got a clear message from Bob Iger last night: Be bold.
Bob Iger, as we all know, is the executive chairman and chairman of the board of The Walt Disney Company. He’s also dad to son Max Iger, who graduated from UT Austin last night. So the graduates were treated to an inspirational commencement speech from Bob.
Last night I had the privilege of speaking at @UTAustin commencement, as my son graduated. My message: Be bold. Don’t be in the business of playing it safe. Be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness. Use technology to heal not to harm. Embrace life! Hook’em! pic.twitter.com/UfopFu5jqQ
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 23, 2021
The key messages of Bob’s speech to the graduates was to be bold, be optimistic, be a force for good and enjoy the adventure of life. Here are some of the most quotable moments from his speech:
“Being bold is the sheer willingness to try something new. Being bold means a willingness to dream big. No dream is too big. Your possibilities are enormous. Be optimistic. Be confident. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. Believe that your dreams are achievable – and don’t let anyone tell you that they’re not.”
“All of these qualities: Resiliency, ambition, curiosity, optimism and a willingness to dream big will serve you well and enable you not only to make the most of opportunities, but to contend with other challenges like failure.”
It’s OK to fail
Failure is not the end of the road, or even the end of the world. Nearly every successful person I know has struggled or failed at some point.
Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs as a newspaper artist because he lacked imagination and had no original ideas. But Walt, ever the optimist, never stopped dreaming big or being bold.
The film Bob is most proud of is Black Panther. Many people believed it would fail – and they were wrong. It was a cultural phenomenon and a powerful force for good.
One bold decision changed the way people see heroes and had a lasting impact on the world.
Our world needs your generation to be bold. It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. Just imagine if all of you made one bold move, the collective impact of those actions would be massive.
Use the technological tools at your disposal to build understanding, respect, tolerance. Use them to construct, not destruct. Be bold and fight the evils of hatred and contempt. Be a force for good in our world.
Be builders and not destroyers of truth and civility. Never stop believing that you can make a difference.
Take time to appreciate your life. Savor the beauty of your life. Embrace life enthusiastically.
Take salsa lessons. Eat dessert. Go to Disneyland.
Be adventurous. Be curious. Try new things – especially things you never thought you would or could do.
Invest in your relationships. I promise you will not regret a moment of the time you spend with the people you love.
Life is an unexpected, exhilarating, fulfilling adventure.
My advice to all of you as you embark on that adventure: Be bold.
Don’t be in the business of playing it safe. Be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness. And dream big. Be optimistic. If your first dream doesn’t come true, find another one and pursue it with equal conviction.
And speak up. Speak the truth, even when it’s difficult for others to hear.
Embrace life. Live it to the fullest, and have fun.
Improve the world and enjoy the world. I encourage you to do both.”
You can see and hear most of the speech in this recording from last night:
Last year, UT Austin couldn’t have their graduation ceremony in person due to the pandemic. It was a big deal to have a large scale, in person ceremony this year. 9,855 students graduated from UT Austin this spring.
— UT Austin (@UTAustin) May 23, 2021
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