During a commencement speech at Dillard University, Denzel Washington recalled how a random woman’s comment in 1975, inspired his success.
Denzel Washington was flunking out of college, with no idea what he was going to do with his life. When one day while sitting in his mother’s beauty parlor, a random lady in the salon sitting under a hair dryer cried out for a pen, because a prophecy, a vision for the future had overcome her.
She told Denzel, “Boy, you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people.” Denzel was perplexed, he was flunking out of college and his life was directionless.
No one in the salon that day believed that Denzel would go on to become one of the most recognisable faces in the world.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Denzel Washington, along the way he learned that if you aren’t prepared to dream big and fail big you will never achieve your version of success.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail Big, To Dream Big – Denzel Washington
Full Transcript | Speaker: Denzel Washington
I was flunking out of college, I had a 1.7 grade point average, I hope non of you can relate.
I had a 1.7 grade point average, I was sitting in my mother’s beauty shop, they still call it beauty shop now?
What they call it now? Yeah, I was sitting in the beauty parlor. I was sitting in my mother’s beauty parlor and I’m looking in the mirror, and I see behind me this woman under the dryer and every time she looked up, every time I looked up, she was looking at me, just looking me in the eye.
I didn’t know who she was, she said “Somebody get me a pen, get me a pencil, I have a prophecy.”
March 27, 1975, she said. “Boy, you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people.” Now mind you, I was flunked out of college, I’m thinking about going the army, I didn’t know what I was going to do and she’s telling me I’m going to travel the world and speak to millions of people.
Well, I have travelled the world and I have spoke to millions of people.
That’s not the most important thing, the success that I had, the most important thing is that, what she taught me, and what she told me that day has stayed with me since.
I’ve been protected, I’ve been directed, I’ve been corrected.
Fail BIG. That’s right. Fail big.
You only live once, so do what you feel passionate about, take chances, professionally don’t be afraid to fail.
There’s an old IQ test that was nine dots and you had to draw five lines with a pencil within these nine dots without lifting the pencil. The only way to do it, was to go outside the box.
So don’t be afraid to go outside the box. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big. But remember, dreams, without goals are just dreams.
They ultimately fuel disappointment. So have dreams, but have goals, life goals, yearly goals, monthly goals, daily goals.
I try to give myself a goal every day. Understand that to achieve these goals you must apply discipline and consistency. You have to work at it every day. You have to plan every day. You’ve heard the saying “We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan.”
Hard work works. Working really hard is what successful people do. In this text, tweet, twerk world that you’ve grown up in, remember just because you’re doing a lot more doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done. Remember just because you’re doing a lot more doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done. Don’t confuse movement with progress. My mother told me, she said “Yeah because you can run in place all the time and never get anywhere.”
Continue to strive, continue to have goals, continue to progress and anything you want good, you can have. Claim it, work hard to get it, when you get it reach back, pull someone else up. Each one teach one.