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Natalie Portman delivers a powerful speech to Harvard grads about using inexperience as an asset.

"The very inexperience that in college made me feel insecure and made me want to play by others' rules, now was making me actually take risks I didn't even realize were risks."

Natalie Portman delivered this year's commencement address to the graduates at Harvard University, reflecting on her own time at the school.

She attended Harvard from 1999 to 2003, earning a degree in psychology in the process. She went into school worried that maybe she didn't really belong, that maybe others believed she was only there because of her fame. ("Star Wars Episode I" had just come out, and she had roles in a handful of other movies in the years leading up to that.)



All clips via Harvard University.

But then she started in on the true theme of her speech: Inexperience can be a powerful asset.

For many students, going off to college can be a scary thing. For most, it's the first time they're away from their parents for any length of time, and it most certainly is a time of inexperience.



Inexperience and failure can guide who we are and what we look for in life.

Portman's first film was called "The Professional." She took the audience back to one of her first reviews that would go on to affect her approach toward acting.

"Ms. Portman, a ravishing little gamine, poses far better than she acts," Janet Maslin wrote in her 1994 New York Times review of the film.

Over the long run, "The Professional" would come to be considered a moderately successful cult classic, but at the time, Portman saw it as a total failure. She acknowledges, though, that to this day, people will compliment her on this role from more than two decades ago.

This experience informed the career choices she made from there on out. She was determined to be "good" and not just "done."


And this passion, combined with a bit of inexperience, is what led her to the part of a lifetime.

It's because of her inexperience that she took on a high-risk, high-reward role in "Black Swan."

"People told me that 'Black Swan' was an artistic risk, a scary challenge to try to portray a professional ballet dancer," she says. "But it didn't feel like courage or daring that drew me to it. I was so oblivious to my own limits that I did things I was woefully unprepared to do. And so the very inexperience that in college made me feel insecure and made me want to play by others' rules, now was making me actually take risks I didn't even realize were risks."

Had she known what it took to be a ballerina, maybe she wouldn't have taken that chance. Maybe she would have passed on the role. But she took it.

So, before you become too realistic about your limits, use your inexperience for what its worth. Natalie Portman did and she took home an Oscar for it.

Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

Watch Natalie Portman's full speech (it's 100% worth it) below.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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