Episode 536: Words Shaping the Future: Insights from Top Commencement Speeches

Welcome to a new episode of Business Lunch with hosts Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss. In this episode, we discuss the importance of shifting from a victim mentality to taking active control of one’s life and reflect on powerful commencement speeches by Nora Ephron, Kurt Vonnegut, and Steve Jobs, extracting timeless wisdom applicable to today’s socio-political climate. 


“You are the person that needs to make the change in your life. It’s how we deal with the things that happen to us that empower us.”

“Remembering that you’re going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose.”

“Our whole world right now feels very punishment-based, not ameliorative like how do we make it better.”


  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:42 – It’s graduation season.
  • 01:21 – The value of commencement speeches
  • 02:06 – Reflection on powerful commencement speeches.
  • 02:45 – Nora Ephron’s speech at Wellesley College.
  • 04:30 – The core plot of every great story.
  • 04:51 – Kurt Vonnegut on living without vindictiveness.
  • 05:48 – Maturity and letting go of the need to settle scores.
  • 07:32 – The importance of grace and support over punishment.
  • 09:02 – Steve Jobs’ speech.

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