A video of Jim Carrey’s heartfelt commencement speech to this year's graduating class at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa has been circulating on the Internet for a while now. Something must have prompted me to listen to it for the first time this morning, because after it listening to it, I felt a sense of calm, as if Jim was validating each life question I’ve been thinking about lately.
His major point of the 25-minute speech is that as humans, we should acknowledge the challenges in life but not limit ourselves by allowing self-made barriers to dictate our paths. He discusses how tempting it can be to let fear prevent us from doing something we love; chase the acceptance of others; or tell us we’re not good enough. But why live that way?
He says, “fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future – but all there will ever be is what’s happening here. The decisions we make in this moment are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path based on fear disguised as practicality. What we want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never ask the universe for it.”
He goes on to talk about how his father never got to do what he loved because of fear. “My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that was possible for him so he made a conservative choice and got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old, he lost that safe job. I’ve learned many lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
Now whether you like or dislike Jim Carrey, I’d challenge you to see beyond his wonky exterior. See a person who had an epiphany at 28 years old (its too ironic). He realized his purpose should be to free people from concern. He enjoyed comedy, was good at it, and most importantly realized the effect it had on people. So he fulfilled a life of transporting people through happiness and laughter. While his life certainly hasn’t been perfect, he’s at peace with who he is and the choices he’s made to live through love, not fear.
So he asks us all to think about our own contributions in life. “What does the world need that your talent can provide? The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart. So relax and dream up a good life. Let the universe know what you want and work toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass. Your job is not to figure out how its going to happen for you, just open the door in your head and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it.”
I bet like me, you never knew Ace Ventura could be so poignant. This week, he is my inspiration. If you haven’t seen the speech, I recommend watching the entire clip. You wont regret it.