Do What Makes You Great

“You don’t have to be fearless, just don’t let fear stop you.” – Charlie Day

Actor, producer and screenwriter Charlie Day (1998 graduate of Merrimack College) delivers the keynote address at Merrimack’s 64th undergraduate commencement ceremony.

To me there is something inspiring and motivating about a commencement speech. Especially one that hits all the high points on living a brave life! It all can be boiled down to three big ideas in his keynote that are nuggets of truth to create your brave life.

  • The choices you make and where you choose to risk failure.
  • Create your own opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen.
  • Agree to be there and don’t compare yourself to others.

“You cannot let a fear of failure, or a fear of comparison, or a fear of judgement stop you from doing what is going to make you great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. And you cannot love without the risk of loss. You must go out and you must take these risks. And people will tell you to do what makes you happy but a lot of this has been hard work and I am not always happy.  And I don’t think you should do just what makes you happy. I think you should do what makes you great. Do what’s uncomfortable and scary and hard but pays off in the long run. Be willing to fail. Let yourself fail. Fail in the way and the place where you would want to fail. Fail, pick yourself up and fail again. Because without this struggle, what is your success anyway? Look, as best we know it we have one life. In it, you have to trust your own voice, your own ideas, your honesty, your vulnerability, and through this you will find your way. You do not have to be fearless just don’t let fear stop you. Live like this as best you can and I guarantee you will look back on a life well lived.  You are capable of greatness…” – Charlie Day

 

 

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