During this season of graduations, we were recently encouraged to watch a commencement speech by Jim Carrey. He was speaking at Maharishi University of Management and the audience of young people seemed absolutely thrilled to have him there.
We watched the video expecting the typical Jim Carrey humor and little depth. Much to our surprise, we walked away with two thought-provoking nuggets that we will be speaking about this week and next week. Go Jim Carrey!
In talking about his father, Mr. Carrey told the story of his work life. He said his dad had had the opportunity to do work that he loved or to take a job that he believed would provide safety and security for himself and his family. He said that his father didn’t like his work and therefore didn’t like his life. And then he was laid off.
Using that story, Mr. Carrey offered the graduates a poignant piece of advice:
You can fail at what you don’t want to do
so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
Simple. Powerful. Wise.
We see many people in a wide variety of roles and industries who have stayed in jobs, relationships, communities, etc. with the belief that their suffering will be rewarded. Yet, it is rarely good for those individuals or those around them when they are putting their sparkle, light, and passion off to the side and living a life that wears them down and beats them up.
We know that there are many good, good reasons to put off something important to you or to take a job that allows you to put food on the table. Yet, it is equally important that you continue to explore ways that you can offer your best self, your passions, and your gifts, even if in small ways, while you do.
Spend some time this week thinking about those aspects of yourself that you may have put on hold. Consider ways to weave them back into your days and weeks. Explore how your work, family, or community needs the gifts and talents that most nurture your soul. The world needs your light and as Mr. Carrey said so poignantly—you can fail at what you don’t want to do, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.