Millennial Motivation: A Dose of Reality from Daniel Tosh

tosh_logoMany of us know Tosh for his edgy comedy routines. (If you don’t, my sarcastic soul weeps for you.)

I enjoy his controversial sense of humor, as he’s what I like to call an Equal Opportunity Offender. “Role model” is certainly NOT the first term that comes to mind, but we can grab bits (pun?) from his comedy act and tie them back to the “real world”.

Before diving into the post … watch the 2-minute skit, below. You’ll get a good laugh, or at the very least understand the motivation for this post.



High School…How Did You Do It?

High I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your high school GPA became irrelevant the moment you graduated high school. You’re in college, now. I know, I know. You were valedictorian – 4.0 GPA! I’m happy for you. Not Really. In my 4-years of college, I’ve met two-dozen valedictorians at my school of 7,000 students. Two-dozen. Still not convinced?

Last year, David McCullough delivered an awesomely real commencement speech. His reality check to the seniors of Wellesly High School, “You Are Not Special”, notes that 3.2 million seniors are graduating across the United States at more than 37,000 high schools. That’s at least 37,000 valedictorians, though probably many more as my graduating class had seven. Seven valedictorians!

Are you still trying to tell me your high school trophies mean something in college?

For many students, the post-graduation goal is college. Well, congratulations. You earned entry. Mission accomplished (almost). Now, you should have new goals. Maybe you’d like to earn that same 4.0 in college – or – perhaps you’d just like to get out alive with a degree in hand (though I don’t recommend that either). The point is: make new goals. Hold yourself accountable – and – accomplish them.

Commencement Address Turnaround

“Excuse me? No, no … it just clicked. So you’re saying I can be anything? Oh yeah, that sounds way better than what I was gonna do.”

Besides laughter, the main takeaway here is: you are responsible for your own motivation. Others can encourage you, inspire you, or spew words at you via blog post, but the desire to do more must come from within. You need to find that thing that drives you to work your ass off in school. You need to inspire yourself to do more. Motivational speeches aside, you are responsible for your own inspiration.

Pro tip: look to past successes. I don’t care how small they are. Find them. Use them. Duplicate them.

I’m a Bad Test Taker… You Mean You’re Stupid?

Before we get our panties in a bunch, let’s think about what Einstein meant when he said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Obviously, fish can’t climb trees, just as all students can’t excel in Calculus or Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics. We all have our areas of expertise, and it’s important you find your niche; although, the opposite of this is that you must be ready to accept that maybe … just maybe … your niche isn’t what you had in mind.

Tosh didn’t put it quite as eloquently as Dr. Einstein, but his comic relief is valid. No,  you’re not stupid, but this should cause you to think twice about your situation. Have you chosen the right major? Are you studying enough?

Evaluate your position. Don’t blame the class or teacher. Or your parents. Or the economy. You are responsible for your circumstances. Nobody else.

Edgy, Bold, & Unapologetic

No, no, no. I’m not advocating you run around your classroom yelling obscenities in an attempt to be funny. Sure, Tosh has offended his fair share of people, but the 37-year old comedian is worth $6.5 million. He found his niche – controversial comedy.

The takeaway: you’re not going to please everyone in your search for stardom or a job you love. You need to accept this.

Be bold in your efforts (see what I did there?). You will meet people who disagree with you, and you’re sure to run into people who try to hold you back. It’s important you let them stay at the bottom of the barrel. Don’t apologize for your high aspirations.

Revel in their hate. Fuel your fire – and – smile from the top.





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Undergrad Success!



Samuel Hershberger_headshotAbout the Author: Community Director and Co-Founder of Undergrad Success, Samuel Hershberger is a budding serial entrepreneur and male fashionista. He splits his time between nerd activities like reading and writing about education, personal development, social dynamics and masculinity — and awesome activities like street photography, sipping coffee, and discovering new music. Samuel’s column runs each Thursday. For a daily kick in the butt and abundant sarcasm, follow him on Twitter.


Image via, thank you!



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