Charlie, a Merrimack College alum, told the class of 2014 why it's so important to take risks rather than take the safe route, while John, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, spoke to the power of doing everything from a place of love.
The Horrible Bosses star made sure to work some blunt, trademark humor into his uplifting address, telling grads the lesson he wanted them to take away was, "Don't give a s--t." In other words? "You cannot let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgment stop you from doing what's going to make you great," he said. "You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism and you cannot love without the risk of loss."
He spoke about giving up "an entry-level job at Fidelity Investments" to pursue his acting dreams in New York, explaining, "If I was going to run the risk of failure, I wanted it to be in a place where I'd be proud to fail, doing something I wanted to do."
Chrissy Teigen's hubby, on the other hand, took the job in finance when he graduated, saying that while he "followed the path that the Penn graduate was supposed to take," he just "didn't fall in love."
He told the new grads how he started thinking "about how I could become a full-time musician," and for six years, played small gigs while being "rejected by all the major labels—some of them multiple times."
Eventually though, he connected with "a young producer from Chicago named Kanye West who believed in me," John explained, and they've been "working together ever since."
"Our collaboration has been a huge part of my career and had a lot to do with me getting a major recording contract in 2004," he said. "Kanye and I have very different personalities, as you might have guessed, but what unites us is our true love for music and art. We love to create...we think about making something beautiful, something special, something we can be proud of."
John encouraged the class of 2014 to pursue whatever it is they're truly passionate about, too, and just as importantly, he urged them to live their lives with love and keep an open mind. "Dare to love those who are different from you," he said, "no matter where they're from, what they look like or who they love."