Leadership

You don't have to be a recent grad to appreciate these graduation speeches

It's graduation season, a time when some of the biggest names out there take the stage to share their wisdom in commencement speeches.

And while their audiences are primarily soon-to-be college graduates, the advice is often applicable to everyone.

Here are bits of wisdom for wherever you are in life from some of this year's most memorable commencement speeches.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of 'Lean In'

In a moving speech at the University of California, Berkeley, Sandberg shared the lessons she learned after losing husband Dave Goldberg, who died in May 2015 of heart-related problems.

Sheryl Sandberg
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Sheryl Sandberg

"Build resilience in yourselves. When tragedy or disappointment strike, know that you have the ability to get through absolutely anything. I promise you do. As the saying goes, we are more vulnerable than we ever thought, but we are stronger than we ever imagined," Sandberg said.

"You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself," she said.

President Barack Obama

While Obama cracked a fair amount of jokes during his speech at Rutgers University, he also shared some serious advice.

President Barack Obama speaking at Rutgers graduation
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President Barack Obama speaking at Rutgers graduation

"You have to be persistent. And success, however small, however incomplete, success is still success. I always tell my daughters, 'You know, better is good.' It may not be perfect, it may not be great, but it's good," Obama said.

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"That's how progress happens — in societies and in our own lives," he said.

Jane Goodall, primatologist and conservationist

Goodall spoke at the University of Redlands commencement ceremony, sharing the obstacles she overcame to conduct her historic research.

Jane Goodall
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Jane Goodall

"I truly believe that when people live with head and heart in harmony, then that's when we attain our true human potential. And every single one of us has the potential for greatness — it's just that we must never give up," Goodall said.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of 'Hamilton'

The Broadway visionary spoke to the University of Pennsylvania's graduating Class of 2016.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
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Lin-Manuel Miranda

"The stories you are about to live[...] they are the times you say 'no' to the good opportunities, so you can say 'yes' to the best opportunities," Miranda said.

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University's men's basketball head coach

Krzyzewski delivered Duke University's commencement address this year.

Mike Krzyzewski
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Mike Krzyzewski

"It's game time," Krzyzewski said. "It's time for you to display your heart, to find teams, to go for it and to expect great things."