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Jim Carrey Tells Graduates Don't Fail At What You Don't Want

Jim Carrey told a crowd of graduating seniors at Maharishi University he learned from his father not to choose a career path based on fear.
Posted at 9:13 AM, May 27, 2014

Some of the articles introduced him as funnyman Jim Carrey, so you knew he was going to get some jokes in. But Carrey got notably serious and philosophical during a college graduation speech over the weekend about being a comedian.

Carrey spoke to the graduates at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, a school perhaps best known for teaching meditation. (Via Transcendental Meditation Blog)

CARREY: "I want to thank the trustees, the administrators, the faculty of MUM ... as well as enabling the students through transcendental meditation and ancient Vedic knowledge to slack off twice a day for an hour-and-a-half." (Via WHO-TV)

Carrey's speech turned inspirational from there as he talked about his father — an incredibly funny, though not particularly adventurous man. Carrey told the students he chose comedy as a career path after watching his father shy away out of fear.

CARREY: "My father could've 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." (Via Maharishi University)

With his father out of work, Carrey went on to describe his family doing whatever it took to survive. The New York Daily News quotes him saying, "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." (Via New York Daily News)

As you might imagine based on his remarks, Carrey is a big proponent of meditation. (Via FinerMinds)

Maharishi University gave the comedian an honorary doctorate as part of the graduation ceremonies. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

WHO-TV reports so many people showed up to hear Carrey's commencement speech the school had to set up overflow rooms and video feeds. We're assuming the 285 graduates will consider it a speech to remember.