Video Summary: Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech 2015

Natalie Portman Harvard commencement speech 2015 Summary


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  1. 1 Know what you want

    Natalie said to the graduates that now they have the prize which is the degree but they need to know what they want with it.

  2. 2 I also had problems at Harvard

    Natalie said that apart from the good days she spent at Harvard she also had bad days including experiencing her first heart break and having serious problems completing assignments.

  3. 3 It's about good not done

    Natalie said that a person should focus on doing good things instead of just getting his tasks done.

  4. 4 Comments on my first movie wasn't good

    Natalie said that the comments on her first movie wasn't good. She said that now that's the movie people usually ask her about. She said she learned how a false impression can be created about a good thing. She also said she learned the importance of following her passion.

  5. 5 I learned to focus on the meaning

    Natalie said that she learned how to follow her passion and do things that mean a lot to her with disregard to the prizes or trophies people go after. Natalie said that people warned her that Black Swan is a big risk yet she took the risk and succeeded.

  6. 6 Realism does us no favors

    Natalie urged the grads to take advantage of the fact that they are still young and that they don't think that realistically. She said that as people get older they get more realistic and this realism does no favors.

  7. 7 Lack of experience can help you

    Natalie said that lack of experience can help as it lets the person think originally and creatively. Natalie said that you can either follow others' path or follow your own.

  8. 8 Focus on others

    Natalie said that caring about others can remind you that you are not the center of the universe and that helping others makes life meaningful.

  9. 9 Harvard's greatest assets are friends

    Natalie said that she is still friends with the ones she studied with at school. She said that Harvard allows for great friendships.

  10. 10 I am still insecure about my worthiness

    Natalie said she still has to remind herself that she is living for a reason and she still feels like she was a fresh grad. Natalie said that insecurity can force a person to meet others' expectations without taking care of his own path.

  11. 11 Prizes serve as false idols everywhere

    Natalie said that as she watched her son play video games to get a certain prize she saw herself in him. Natalie said that we go for prizes all the time like fame and money without really knowing how they will make us feel.

  12. 12 Prizes are great when we know why we want them

    Natalie said that Prizes are great when we really know why we want them, else going after a certain prize might be a trap.

  13. 13 I had problems being taken seriously

    Natalie said that because she was an actress she had a problem being taken seriously. She said she came from a family of academics but the fact that she was an actress at the age of 11 made it hard for her family to take her seriously.

  14. 14 I got into Harvard because i was famous

    Natalie and the people around her believed that she only got into Harvard because she believed that she was famous. She said that she decided to do something she considered more serious and so she studied neurobiology.

  15. 15 I realized i was wrong

    Natalie said that she realized that she is trying to be serious for seriousness sake when she saw others writing about sailing and professors giving classes about the Matrix. I realized i loved acting and my mentors told me that was enough reason to continue doing it. See finding your passion.


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