I remembered my graduation day. Getting out of high school was _________. You go fill in the blank.

Graduation was THAT day when I can hold my head up high and tell the world "I've went through hell and I survived." Little did I know that the world in front of me would be a lot tougher, less meaner but a lot tougher. That's life. I found this while gobbling through New York Times Sunday Paper, excerpts of the words of wisdom of some of the world's greatest men and women sending the Class of 2011 to the world. I read and I was inspired. Click here for the full article.

Samantha Power
National Security Council
Occidental College

You’ve got to be all in. This means leaving your technology behind occasionally and listening to a friend without half of your brain being preoccupied by its inner longing for the red light on the BlackBerry.
In many college classes, laptops depict split screens — notes from a class, and then a range of parallel stimulants: NBA playoff statistics on, a flight home on Expedia, a new flirtation on Facebook. I know how good you all are at multitasking. And I know of what I speak, because I, too, am a culprit. You have never seen a U.S. government official and new mother so dexterous in her ability simultaneously to BlackBerry and breastfeed.
But I promise you that over time this doesn’t cut it. Something or someone loses out. No more than a surgeon can operate while tweeting can you reach your potential with one ear in, one ear out. You actually have to reacquaint yourself with concentration. We all do. We should all become, as Henry James prescribed, a person “on whom nothing is lost.”

Steve Blank
Technology entrepreneur
Philadelphia University
But I learned that in Silicon Valley, honest failure is a badge of experience. All of you will fail at some time in your career, or in love or in life. No one ever sets out to fail. But being afraid to fail means you’ll be afraid to try.

Sheryl Sandberg

Chief operating officer, Facebook
Barnard College

Women almost never make one decision to leave the work force. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there. Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, “I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day.” Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, “I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually.” These women don’t even have relationships, and already they’re finding balance, balance for responsibilities they don’t yet have. And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back.
So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.

Steve Ballmer
Chief executive, Microsoft
University of Southern California
People think passion is something you either have or you don’t. People think passion is something that has to manifest itself in some kind of explosive and emotional format. It’s not. It’s the thing that you find in your life that you can care about, that you can cling to, that you can invest yourself in, heart, body and soul. Finding passion is kind of your job now.

Toni Morrison
Nobel Prize-winning novelist
Rutgers University
I have often wished that Jefferson had not used that phrase “the pursuit of happiness” as the third right — although I understand in the first draft it was “life, liberty and the pursuit of property.” Of course, I would have been one of those properties one had the right to pursue, so I suppose happiness is an ethical improvement over a life devoted to the acquisition of land, acquisition of resources, acquisition of slaves.
Still, I would rather he had written “life, liberty and the pursuit of meaningfulness” or “integrity” or “truth.” I know that happiness has been the real, if covert, goal of your labors here. I know that it informs your choice of companions, the profession you will enter. But I urge you, please don’t settle for happiness. It’s not good enough.
Personal success devoid of meaningfulness, free of a steady commitment to social justice, that’s more than a barren life; it is a trivial one. It’s looking good instead of doing good.

Daniel F. AkersonChief executive, General Motors
Bryant University
I do have a few final bits of advice:
Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Don’t be afraid of new ideas; be afraid of old ones.
Be faithful to your family and friends. You’ll get the same in return.
Tell the truth and always play by the rules.
If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

Congratulations Class of 2011,
Athalia Karima Yedida Soemarko.