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Lead a better life: 8 lessons from Sandra Bullock

May 21, 2014 13:24 IST

Lead a better life: 8 lessons from Sandra Bullock

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The Oscar-winning actress shared some interesting pearls of wisdom in her commencement speech at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans.

On May 19, actor Sandra Bullock was invited to address the graduating class of 2014 at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans. 

In less than four minutes, the Oscar-winning actor summed up the lessons she's learned from her past failures and successes.

Appealing young graduates to 'go find their joy' Bullock shared essential advice on how to lead a better life.

We bring you the full text of Sandra Bullock's commencement speech below. Read on and be inspired...


"I was trying to remember my graduation and, oddly, I couldn't remember anything.

I remembered how good I looked and then I went back and looked at pictures and I really didn’t look so good. … I didn't remember anything because I was so worried about the future, I wasn't present, which made me think about a question someone asked me just recently.

And that question was, 'If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what would you say?'

And I thought, 'Wow, that’s kinda heavy.'

Then I realised what I wished someone had said to me was what I've been spending the last four years telling a little boy who I love more than anything, who happens to be my son, and who's from New Orleans, and so I thought maybe I would share that with you guys.

That what I tell a four-year-old is what I wish someone would've told me before I stepped out in the world.

1. The first thing is, stop worrying so much, OK?

Stop being scared of the unknown, because anything I worried about didn't happen. Other stuff happened, but not what I worried about.

The unknown we can't do anything about, and I don't remember any of the moments in my life where I worried. So that's a lot of time I couldn't get back.

2. The second thing was, raise the bar higher. OK?

It is noisy out there and for some reason, people want to see you fail. But that’s not your problem. That is their problem.

I only remember the moments where I tried beyond what I thought I could do and I do not remember the failures because I didn't.

Nothing is a failure. It's just not supposed to work out that way because something better is supposed to come along.

3. The third thing we work on at home in the mornings is that we turn on the music really, really loud before we leave the house.

And the rule is you have to dance a little bit before you step out in the world because it changes the way you walk.

It changes the way you walk out in the world. So do that.

4. Eat something green every day with every meal. It’s growing food for adults as well.

5. Do not pick your nose in public. Think about this.

How about we just don't pick it in private either? How about we just go get a tissue?

I know it takes a little extra effort but it gets the job done right away and there’s no public humiliation.

And that can go with a lot of other things as well, so make a little bit of an effort.

6. When someone who cares about you hugs you, hug them back with two arms.

Don’t do the one-arm hug, because when you hug with two arms, it allows you to lean on somebody and we always need someone to lean on.

7. And if someone doesn't want to play with you, it's OK. It's OK.

You know, not everyone's going to love us. Go find somebody who does want to play with you and who appreciates what you have to offer.

8. And last but not least is, go find your joy.

Whatever that is, go find your joy!

Are you going to have a good day or are you going to have a great day, because it’s completely up to you.

It's what you're going to remember in the end.

You're not going to remember how you worried. You're not going to remember the 'what ifs' or the 'why's' or 'who' wronged you. It's the joy that stays with you.

And I want to thank you guys for the amazing joy that Warren Easton brings me every day.

You make me walk out into the world with pride and I want you to go find it and I want you to go save the world while you’re at it, and I thank you so much.

Congratulations, class of 2014. You make me so proud."


Image: Sandra Bullock
Photographs: Jason Merritt/Getty Images