Leonard Nimoy’s Inspiring Speech: Persistence Persistence Persistence


Remembering a legend: at the 2012 College of Fine Arts, Leonard Nimoy gave an inspiring convocation speech. Leonard Nimoy will forever be remembered as the man who spoke some of the most famous lines in acting history “live long, and prosper.”

In this video, Leonard Nimoy says persistence is the key to getting paid for what you love. A quote from the video:

“I suspect that some of you graduates aren’t there yet. You haven’t decided exactly what you want to do, or how to go about doing it. That’s okay. Yes, it will worry your parents. Just keep in mind what Robert Frost said, “Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” So hang in there. Life does unfold. And for those of you who know exactly what you want to do, good! Now all you need to do is find someone to pay you for doing it. I have three words for you. Persistence, persistence, and persistence.” – Leonard Nimoy


For Leonard, it took from being 8 years old getting a small gig, to paying for his own tuition at a California Art School, to dropping out of College, making rounds at agent offices, living in California for 10 years perfecting his craft, and finally getting the role of Spock at the age of 35.

Here’s more transcript of the inspiring parts of Leonard Nimoy’s touching speech:

“Our creativity walks on a razor’s edge, using both sides of the brain. The left side of the brain gives us logic and discipline. On the right side, is instinctive, creative thinking. We, as artists, need both. Fall to the left and we lose inspiration and originality. Fall too far the right and we are in danger of drifting into undisciplined chaos. The secret of a long, healthy career in the arts is the successful walk on the razor’s edge. Here’s a sescription of the artist’s life… “Edwin Booth, the actor, heard the solemn whisper of the God of all arts. ‘I shall give you hunger and pain and sleepless nights. Also beauty and satisfaction known to few and glimpses of the heavenly life. None of these shall you have continually, and of their coming and going, you shall not be foretold.'”As a kid, we walked the Boston Commons and the Public Gardens and I was intrigued by the inscription on a fountain there. It’s from Ecclesiastes. It says, “Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days.” Not long ago, I tweeted that and what came back was “Cast thy bread upon the waters and you’ll get soggy bread.” Well, I reject cynicism. I reject it. To me that inscription means, “What goes around,comes around.” You are the creators and the curators of your own lives. You create your own life and your work. Give us your best. Give us the best of your art. We crave it. We hunger for it. Help us to see ourselves, to know ourselves. Illuminate our lives.” – Leonard Nimoy


RIP Leonary Nimoy (1931-2015)

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