Natalie Portman, Actress and Director. She has a long-standing interest in languages and, growing up, was also an accomplished science student, co-authoring a published paper both in high school and later while studying for her psychology degree at Harvard.
"The thing I’m saying is, make use of the fact that you don’t doubt yourself too much right now. As we get older, we get more realistic, and that includes about our own abilities or lack thereof. And that realism does us no favors. People always talk about diving into things you’re afraid of. That never worked for me. If I am afraid, I run away. And I would probably urge my child to do the same. Fear protects us in many ways. What has served me is diving into my own obliviousness. Being more confident than I should be which everyone tends to decry in American kids, and those of us who have been grade inflated and ego inflated. Well. It can be a good thing if it makes you try things you never might have tried. Your inexperience is an asset, and will allow you to think in original, unconventional way. Accept your lack of knowledge and use it as your asset."
"Each time you set out to do something new your inexperience can either lead you down a path where you will conform to someone else’s values or you can forge your own path… If your reasons are your own, your path, even if it’s a strange and clumsy path, will be wholly yours."
2015 Harvard Commencement Speech, Photograph via InStyle