Man gives you the award but God gives you the reward.
— Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington delivered an inspiring speech to the graduating class at Dillard University in New Orleans last month. I’ve always admired Denzel Washington as an actor and a filmmaker. I could list his many accomplishments in the Hollywood entertainment industry, but most of you already know his many talents as an actor. While listening to his speech, my admiration took on a new meaning as Denzel Washington brilliantly shared his heart. He was open and honest about his struggles in college, admitting that at one point during his college career he “was flunking out of college” as he had a 1.7 GPA before getting back on course. His speech was sprinkled with humor and a real sense of his need and dependence on God. Denzel Washington’s words inspired me. Here are a few highlights from his speech:
Put God First: Put God first in everything you do. Everything that you think you see in me; everything that I have accomplished; everything that you think I have … everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It’s a gift … I’ve been protected. I’ve been directed. I’ve been corrected. I’ve kept God in my life, and it’s kept me humble. I didn’t always stick with him, but he’s always stuck with me; so stick with him.
Fail Big: Do what you feel passionate about. Take chances … professionally. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to dream big. But remember, that dreams without goals are just dreams. And they ultimately fuel disappointments. So have dreams, but have goals—life goals, yearly goals, monthly goals.
You’ll Never See a U-Haul Behind a Hearse: I don’t care how much money you make, you can’t take it with you. The Egyptians tried it … they got robbed. That’s all they got. You can’t take it with you. And it’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have.
While You’re on Your Knees in the Morning, Say Thank You: Say thank you for wisdom; for grace; for understanding; for parents. Say thank you in advance for what’s already yours. True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to indicate that it’s yours. And anything you want, good, you can have; so claim it. Work hard to get it. And when you get it, reach back pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference!
(Highlights taken from this article: www.bellanaija.com)