Sunday, May 22, 2011

Advice from Denzel Washington

Hello Optimists,

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on my last post! The last few days have been really great - now that all of the chaos and apprehension about graduation has finally ceased. The commencement ceremony was an enjoyable one - the guest speaker had some great things to say and the ceremony as a whole didn't drag on for too long, so before I knew it, I was on stage, heard my name being announced, and shook hands with the president of the University.

A lot of the area colleges had their commencement ceremonies around the same time, and I had heard a lot about one school's in particular. Turns out they had a movie-star speaker - Denzel Washington - and out of curiosity, I looked up the speech on YouTube to see if he had any inspiring words to share.

It was a pretty great speech, and he definitely did have some great advice to share. Today's featured quotes are straight from his address, and I encourage you to watch the clip below to get the full effect of his words. *The real "speech" begins about 7 or 8 minutes case you don't want to listen to his jokes and chit-chat beforehand!*
"If you don't fail, you're not even trying." 
"Be open to life, accept new views and be open to new opinions..." - Denzel Washington

I've written before about great commencement speeches in my post featuring Steve Jobs' address at Stanford. It's no surprise that great stories and pieces of advice are shared at ceremonies such as these,  but I think all people need to hear inspiring words. It shouldn't matter if we're new grads, retirees, or mid-career. We need to hear these words to motivate us to be the best we can I think we should seek out these inspiring moments wherever we can get them.

Please enjoy this clip and great speech - I hope it inspires you to live your best life.

Keep Smiling,


  1. Wow, Vanessa!
    You continue to find inspirational messages for us all to take to heart. This was my favorite line in the entire ceremony:
    I’m sure throughout your life you’ve had people say make sure you have something to fall back on. But I never understood that concept; having something to fall back on. If I’m going to fall, I don’t want to fall back on ANYTHING, except my faith! I want to fall forward. I figure at least this way I’ll see what I’m going to hit.
    LOVED it. Can't wait to see what you dig up next.

    Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
    Blessings to you.

  2. Shared on my Wisdom and Life page on Facebook, Vanessa!

  3. Congratulations on your graduation, which I should have said on the last comment I posted :)


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