Jim Carrey on Pursuing Your Dream

We all fear failure… it’s one of the most basic human fears. But recently, the actor/comedian Jim Carrey gave the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony of Maharishi University, in which he painted fear in a whole new light for me.

Carrey moved the audience by addressing fear, risk, and the pursuit of your dreams. Some content may have seemed stereotypical, but there was one anecdote in which Carrey managed to strike a nerve of originality.

Carrey spoke of his father. According to the comedian, his father was a very funny person and — in Carrey’s opinion — was more than talented enough to make it as a stand-up comedian. But his father abandoned that route for a more traditional career that would ensure the well-being of his family.

This sounds all too familiar — but instead of leaving it at that, this is where Carrey’s anecdote kept going. After several years as a loyal accountant, Carrey’s father was fired — and was left to struggle with his family’s financial conundrums.

Wow… did not see that coming.

It had never occurred to me that failure was a universal risk. I had been perceiving shelved and dusty dreams as a type of failure in itself — but Carrey made me realize that that which you gave up your passion for is not omitted from the risk of failure.

So in Carrey’s words, “You can fail at what you don’t want — so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

See Carrey’s whole speech here.

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About Nathan Doneen

I'm currently a mid-20s post college grad trying to find my own niche in the world. I studied biology and environmental science when in school and have since started studying philosophy and theory of mind while trying to write in the midst of it all.

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