Though his speech was peppered with humour, the star kept his message heartfelt and sincere during his commencement speech, as he spoke about his late father and his childhood.
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality,” the 52-year-old comedian said.
“My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn”t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant.”
Everything changed, he said, when his father then lost his job, and the family had to do “whatever we could to survive”.
Jim continued, “I learned so many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don”t love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
The actor also said he had an epiphany when he was 28-years-old, and realised he wanted to “free people from concern” through comedy.
“I often said that I wish people could realise all their dreams and wealth and fame, so that they could see that it”s not where they”re going to find their sense of completion,” he said.
“Your job is not to figure out how it”s going to happen for you. It”s opening a door in your head, and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it.”
There were, of course, plenty of funny moments. After receiving his honourary Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa degree, Jim joked, “It”s a good thing they are giving this to someone who has conquered their ego.”