I stumbled across this excerpt from a commencement speech that actor Jim Carrey gave at Maharishi University of Management. You can find the speech in its entirety here, but what Carrey says in this excerpt is so profound. He talks about why you should go after your dreams, and how his father inspired him to do so.

Carrey’s father, instead of embracing his talent as a comedian, decided to take a safer course and become an accountant. Later on, his father ended up losing his accounting job, leaving his family to do whatever they could to survive. So Jim Carrey brings up a good point; you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. He claims that we come to believe that our dreams are too big and too far out of reach, that we can’t ask the universe to make them come true. Instead, we choose our paths “out of fear disguised as practicality.”


I’m sure I’m not alone in that I have struggled in choosing between the safe route and what I truly love. As long as I can remember, writing has been my passion. I knew I wanted to write stories and make movies. And yet, everything I did was to ensure my path to medical school. Then I realized that, while I did find it interesting, and it would probably be a satisfying job, I didn’t think I could ever be satisfied with not following my dreams.

It started with me changing my major at Appalachian State from Natural Science (a psychology major that includes all the classes necessary for applying to medical school) to Creative Writing. At first I was worried that I was throwing away a sure thing based on a chance that my dreams might come true. Already fearing that I may had made a poor decision, naturally I decided to take it a step further.

I made the decision to not return to ASU this fall. Instead, I will spend the year working, and compiling a portfolio to apply at the North Carolina School of the Arts. I’m hoping to get into their school of filmmaking, concentrating in either directing or screenwriting.

I always think of the quote: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” 
My mind always fills with ideas. The sky is the limit. Then I step back and realize how much fear of failure truly holds us back.

Have any of you ever deviated from the “safe route” in order to pursue your dreams? What was it, and what made you decide to take a chance?

Thanks for reading!

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