Jim Carrey has been around in Hollywood for a long time, and the funnyman’s longevity can be attributed to both a dedication to being unafraid of looking silly and choosing roles that bring in big box office numbers. So when he was awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Maharishi University in Iowa over the weekend, he took a moment to address the graduates in a commencement speech that warned of failure of the worst kind.
“My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love…Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, it’s opening a door in your head, and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it,” Carrey said.
The speech was filled with humor, of course, but Carrey delivered a rare gift to the new graduates by offering them heartfelt advice rather than being the goofball we’re used to seeing in the movies who never takes anything seriously.
“The decisions we make in this moment are based in either love or fear. So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. And if it doesn’t happen for you right away, it’s only because the universe is so busy fulfilling my order,” he said.
Carrey took several photos in his cap and gown, holding his degree aloft in victory; the 52-year old was a high school dropout.
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