A friend of mine reminded me of Denzel Washington‘s Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania and I felt compelled to watch it again. As with most things Denzel has done in his life, this too was inspiring. But it was inspiring in a different way than most Commencement Address speeches are. It wasn’t about how all the graduates are fantastic and about how they have the best life in front of them, it was about failure and how having the courage to fail, give you the courage to go for everything you want in life.
He started off by saying “You will fail at something in your life.” Then he continued by talking about the importance of failing and knowing how to fall forward when you do that. He brought up a very interesting point in his discourse: “If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying.”
Failure can take you down or it can teach you how to move forward. If we have the courage to fail, then we realize that what we’re striving for is more important that one failure, that our story is much larger than one chapter when we happened to fail at something.
The video reminded me to never hold myself back when reaching for my dreams, to always strive to accomplish more, to never fear failure and always learn from it, to reach for the impossible and know that I can make it possible, to never settle for less that I want in this life. And when the time does come, I hope I always have the strength to fall forward.
As for you all, always have the courage to fall, and when you do, always fall forward!