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Ethics professor sheds light on the meaning of an authentic life


On Dec. 3, in the Collins Center for the Arts, Professor Corey Ciocchetti spoke to hundreds of University of Maine students, giving a motivational speech on the boundaries of living an authentically happy and ethical life. Students and faculty listened to Ciochetti’s personal stories and experiences that shaped who he is today.

As a graduate of Duke University’s Law School, now a professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver, Ciocchetti has vast experience in the classroom that inspired and influenced his decision to become a motivational speaker. Ciochetti lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters, and speaks all across the country to students who sometimes need a reminder that life isn’t all about “checking boxes.”

He spoke to the audience about living a good quality life, and how achieving that goal may include redefining life’s meaning. Ciocchetti believes that a good life is one where money, clothes, jobs, and looks don’t define you as a person. He also talked to students about the importance of being appreciative and grateful for all the simple joys in life that extend beyond having money or a well-paying job.

“Live within your means today and for the rest of the year, so you retain the flexibility to quit the job you hate,” Ciocchetti said.

Ciochetti began his presentation by showing a powerpoint slide of his two daughters, reminding the audience that family, and love for other people, is something to remember and cherish.

“He was a great motivational speaker. He engaged the audience, asked questions that made you really think. He also shared stories and comments about his own life that you can connect and relate back to your own,” Kimberly Stoddard, a third-year parks recreation and tourism student, said. “I learned alot about who I want to be as an adult, and what changes I need to make in myself in order to lead a more fulfilling and genuinely ethical life.”

One metaphor Ciocchetti used during his speech was about dogs chasing fake rabbits in order to win a race. Once the dog asked itself the meaning behind chasing rabbits that weren’t real, it no longer wanted to run. He compares this to the life of an adult and the tendency adults have to get caught up chasing or working towards job goals and pay raises in a never-ending cycle.

“I really like how he emphasized in his speech that money isn’t everything, and the only thing that matters is your happiness,” Colleen Keegan, a third-year social work student, said.

He ended the presentation by asking the audience questions about what things they prioritize in college. He also discussed the importance of getting more out of life than just completing superficial and everyday tasks. Addressing many of the students who are apart of clubs and organizations, Ciocchetti’s speech focused on what people can do to better themselves in society, while also being happy, especially while in college and preparing for life after.

Ciochetti published a self-help book in 2017 titled “Inspire Authenticity: Chasing an Authentic Life,” and he quoted many lines and phrases during his presentation. His website, has more information on the book and how to get in contact with him.

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