English listening exercise – motivation from Jim Carrey

English listening exercise with full transcriptHere is a short English listening exercise for you to improve your listening skills and comprehension. This is a speech given by Jim Carrey to students graduating from university. In America this is called a commencement speech. Sometimes these talks are made by famous people. The subject of these speeches is always about how to live a good life in the future and they are usually feel-good and motivating.

How to improve your English listening skills

1. Watch the video and try to understand as much as you can. DO not get angry or frustrated if you cannot understand all the words. 2. Look at the vocabulary glossary below the video, where most of the difficult words are explained. Learn the words you don’t know. Watch the speech again and understand a little bit more. 3. Watch the video a third time and now read along with the full transcript which is at the bottom of this page.  

Vocabulary Glossary

having lots of money and expensive things
decay or deteriorate
an icon or figure that represents a person on the internet or in a computer game
smoke and mirrors
hiding the truth with wrong information
sth that stops you focusing on what you were thinking about
sth that holds your interest in a powerful way and can not be resisted
the written text of a film or theatre play
a dead person’s spirit that the living can see
we never dare to ask
we never have the courage to ask
how it comes to pass
how sth happens naturally
someone (usually without a home) who asks others for money or food

English listening full transcript

I’ve often said that I wished people could realise all their dreams of wealth and fame, so they could see that it’s not where you’ll find your sense of completion. I can tell you from experience, the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart. We’re not the avatars we create. We’re not the pictures on the film stock. We are the light that shines through it. All else is just smoke and mirrors. Distracting, but not truly compelling. Our eyes are not only viewers, but also projectors that are running a second story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script. Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, that you can ask the universe for it. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass. Why not take a chance on faith? — not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire. Faith leaps over it. You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE our other transcripts: 1. Steve Jobs speaking to university graduates about life – full video and transcript   2. Inspiring Speech by Charlie Chaplin – one of the best films on YouTube – full transcript with vocabulary glossary   3. SGI Teachers, Bren and Melissa in a natural conversation: Men v Women debate with full transcript

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