Sure, you recognize him as Tyrion Lannister from your favourite new fantasy epic-turned-primetime TV show. But few know of the man behind the character and his story of rise over challenges and ill-favoured odds. To paraphrase a line his character says in Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage has led a life that proves that a small man can cast a massive shadow.

In 2012, Peter Dinklage returned to Bennington College, his alma mater, to plead with a new batch of graduates. “Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it.”

His honest and uplifting charisma mixed with the modest and humane wisdom produced one of the best speeches you’ll ever hear.

Here’s what he said in his speech:

Raise the rest of your life to meet you. Don’t search for defining moments because they will never come.. The moments that define you have already happened. And they will already happen again. And it passes so quickly, so please bring each other along with you.
Life after college sucks. It really does. I mean, I don’t know, at least it did for me, but that’s the only thing I know. You just get a bit derailed. But soon something starts to happen, trust me. A rhythm sets in. Just like it did after your first few days here. Just try not to wait until, like me, you’re 29 until you find it. And if you are that’s fine too, some of us never find it.
Don’t wait until THEY tell you “you are ready”! Get in there! Sing!.. The world might say “You are not allowed to yet” I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. Please, don’t even bother asking. Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Show it! Do it! What did Beckett say: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”.. Treat everyone kindly and LIGHT UP the night!

The Game of Thrones star spent six years working at a data processing company and living in an abandoned loft before pursuing his acting career.

Still going strong! *Mic drop and walk away*