Throwback Thursday: That amazing Jim Carrey speech

Jim Carrey is a great comedian and an even better commencement speaker. I loved this talk so much the first time around, I’m sharing it again today on Throwback Thursday at Every48. Enjoy.

A funny guy on a serious subject

[First published on June 16, 2014.]

It’s Inspiration Week at Every48. As I gear up for what is going to be the most challenging part of my workout year, I’m going to be sharing some of the sayings, mantras, books, websites, and videos that help me to get my head on straight when I’m approaching a new challenge.

If Jim Carrey's 2014 commencement speech could be distilled into one sentence, this is it. Enjoy one of the great, great commencement speeches of all time - it's a keeper. (Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
If Jim Carrey’s 2014 commencement speech could be distilled into one sentence, this is it. Enjoy one of the great, great commencement speeches of all time – it’s a keeper. Scroll down for the video link, and my highlights. (Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Next Monday, I’ll begin my buildup to a fall 2014 marathon that I hope will deliver me to the starting line of the 2015 Boston Marathon with an actual qualifying time. I’ve danced around this goal for years. It’s time to make it happen.

(By the way, I’ll still run for my charity, Mass General Hospital, but I really want to notch a qualifying time. And not just for the bragging rights. I want to really mess with the heads of the researchers who are currently telling us that it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off – especially five years after having lost the weight. Ahem, researchers: I’ve maintained my weight loss for four years and ten months and just won an age-group award in a 10K. I’m just sayin’.)

So today, Every48 brings you Jim Carrey’s brilliant commencement speech from Maharishi University of Management’s 2014 graduation exercises. It’s worth the entire 26 minutes of your day because Carrey nails the craft of teaching important lessons through the use of well-timed humor (did you really expect anything less from the guy with the plastic face?) – as well as the wisdom gleaned from spending a lifetime chasing an insane and impossible dream. Impossible, of course, until he reached it.

Here’s a selection of a few of my favorite moments from Carrey’s speech:

(7:00) – “[Meditation] does allow you to separate who you truly are and what’s real from the stories that run through your head. [It offers] the ability to walk behind the mind’s elaborate set decoration and to see that there’s a huge difference between a dog that is going to eat you in your mind, and an actual dog that is going to eat you. [Laughter] That may seem like no big deal, but many never learn that distinction, and they spend a great deal of their lives living in fight-or-flight response.”

(10:10) “Now fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your life imaging ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.  I’m saying, I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. Please.”

(11:15) “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, and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

(13: 45) “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”

(23:15) [After a story about having won a bike in a raffle that he didn’t know he was entered in.] “As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want, and then working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass. Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head, and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it. And don’t worry if you miss your cue, because there’s always doors opening. They keep opening.”

And the bit at the end about what faith really is? I invite you to watch the entire video to get to that moment, because it’s truly precious and deserves your full attention. This video made my day – and made me believe that my “impossible dream” of qualifying for Boston, publishing exactly what I want to publish in my lifetime, and putting the work out there that truly is an expression of who I really am, is all completely possible. As long as I do the work.

On to the work.

Yesterday’s #Every48 workout: (Back to real time: July 17, 2014) I’m nursing a bum knee at the moment, so yesterday I asked my track coaches to give me some alternate exercises, and they did it! So it was 60 minutes of bodyweight and stability ball exercises: bridges, V-sits, wall squats, side crunches, all kinds of things. Kept me busy and a little less bummed that I couldn’t run yesterday.

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