The following excerpt is from Maverick Carter’s 2019 USC Commencement Speech.
More than means refusing to define yourself according to what society dictates or [what] everyone around you thinks you should do or be. More than challenges every norm—refuses to accept the rules as they are—one size fits all. And most importantly, more than implores you to take massive risks.
Being more than means you court failure, embarrassment, and the possible loss of everything. More than also means you have the courage, passion, and dedication to be more than anyone thought possible.
The idea of more than begins with recognizing stereotypes—not the obvious stereotypes about race and class. There is something called opportunity stereotypes, which interfere with your career, your personal journey. Opportunity stereotypes are those stereotypes implicitly or explicitly designed to limit how you think about yourself—the decisions you make and the opportunities you were told to pursue rather than the ones you might want to actually pursue.
[Opportunity stereotypes] are not malicious or evil. In fact, they are designed to protect you—to ensure you make safe, smart decisions in your life and your career.
[Sometimes] what makes the most sense may not even make sense at all. The safe decision can actually be the wrong decision. The journey to more than begins by questioning—questioning everything. [More than involves making] very big bets on yourself.
You are always going to be better than where you started. So don’t be afraid to take chances.
See the video below for the rest of this incredibly powerful speech.
Featured image by Ann Powell