Brooke Shields, she of Calvin Klein denim fame among many other things, was invited to speak at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s graduation ceremony yesterday morning. Although she admitted to being nervous about what she had to offer, her guidance was incredibly on point. First, she advised the graduates not to forget who they are, noting that “authentic self is what has engaged you throughout your life so far.” And, going forward, they were told to keep four crucial concepts in mind: fear, lineage, expectations, and work ethic. Below are her thoughts on each, courtesy of WWD:
Fear: Don’t let it get the best of you. You can’t totally avoid “the nagging belief that you’re actually a fraud and you’re not good enough,” but it doesn’t have to control you. “Don’t allow yourself to give in to self-doubt, and don’t let people interfere either,” she said.
Lineage: She wasn’t referring to genes here, but rather “the lineage of your creativity.” “Even before FIT,” she asked the audience, “what was it that you returned to, that you remained motivated by? Where does your passion always seem to lie?” If you look back on your life, you will pick up on certain trends, and those will be valuable to your success.
Expectations: She then called for the audience to consider what they really want out of life, saying, “What do you want to accomplish as artists? Up until now you’ve had a certain amount of freedom to focus on your craft. Once you’re no longer incubated from this incredible institution, focus can shift toward money, success, fame. If you want guaranteed money, go work on Wall Street. But when you go into a creative field because you love it, I promise you, you will be richer than any hedge fund guy ever was.”
Work Ethic: She stressed the importance of integrity and accountability, citing her dad’s mantra that “a lot lies on how you show up.” And most importantly? “Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that [success] does not always entail continuous hard work and tireless tenacity.”
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