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May 31, 2017

ICYMI: The Best (& Funniest) Commencement Speech of 2017.

There are many obstacles on the road to success in this life.

If you’re a sensitive person like me, you’re probably prone to give up easily when discouraged, no matter what you are trying to succeed at.

And once we get to know how bad failure feels, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle: We fear to take chances or try again, but then find that the more we fear, the more distant from our dreams we become.

For days, weeks, months, or even years, this cycle may go like this, as we continue to live life without giving our dreams a try (or a second or third try) because we are too afraid of failing.

This is exactly what has happened to me. When I started to write for elephant journal two years ago, I took a step to achieve one of my dreams. But I had been struggling with depression (which I still am), was taking care of a little boy, and was starved for happiness and fulfillment in doing something I liked.

I had to give that first step a two-year break.

When I started to write again, it wasn’t easy. With the needs of my three-year-old, I wasn’t able to finish a single sentence, even after hours of effort.

I gave up again.

But I knew I had to write. I listened to my instincts and wrote several more articles, which I was asked to revise. I was discouraged and did not change and re-send them.

I’ve known since I was a little girl that I give up too easily, and that this has been the biggest obstacle to me achieving things—which, in turn, is one of the main reasons for my unhappiness.

So today, when I was looking for some inspiration surfing the internet, I came across a person who I never would have thought would give me inspiration, let alone a good life lesson: Will Ferrell.

I didn’t hate him, but I never had any special feelings or thoughts about him either. But after I watched his commencement address to the University of Southern California’s graduating class of 2017, he became my most recent inspiration.

What I feel for him now goes beyond admiration.

Here are four quotes from his speech that we should remember when we feel discouraged, hopeless, and afraid to try:

1. “After my first show, one reviewer referred to me as ‘the most annoying newcomer of the new cast.’ Someone showed this to me and I promptly put it up on the wall in my office, reminding myself that to some people, I will be annoying. Some people will not think I’m funny, and that that’s okay.”

2. “I was afraid. You’re never not afraid. I’m still afraid.”

3. “My fear of failure never approached in magnitude my fear of what if. What if I never tried at all?”

4. “I was just trying to throw as many darts at the dart board, hoping that one would eventually stick.”

Success and subsequent happiness do not come easily. We must try and then try harder. When we fail and fall, we must stand up instead of giving up.

We should not let fear and failure discourage us. We should never hesitate to take that first step, and then the second step. We should never forget that being afraid is normal and it won’t disappear in time.

I hope this inspiration, encouragement, motivation, and determination helps us all. Enjoy the full speech below.

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Author: Anet Kalpakciyan
Image: YouTube
Editor: Callie Rushton

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