Diem is a friend of mine who recently blogged about how success is always preceded by massive amounts of failure and it got me thinking. He ended his blog with a quote…
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
What a great quote! I then started thinking about what is it that allows us to keep our enthusiasm during the times we are experiencing massive failure? The first thought that came to my mind was the word PASSION- I wrote this quote awhile back, “Passion keeps your dream alive when the rewards are not great”. Although passion certainly helps, I wanted to think of something more tangible or practical on how a person could find inspiration.
I often think about the life of an artist/entrepreneur and how terribly hard and lonely it can be and how the artist needs to constantly find inspiration almost on a daily basis because of the massive amounts of failure we experience. We try to find inspiration around us but we quickly realize very few people have chosen our career path and although we may have many friends, it seems like not many people can identify with what we are experiencing, life is tough as an artist because our journey is quite lonely most of the time.
I’ve mentioned before, the road to becoming a full time artist that can financially support oneself and a family is one of the most difficult careers in the world to establish. Think about how many successful doctors, lawyers and mufti-millionaires you know- you may have a fairly close relationship with 12-24, maybe even more depending on your career and network. Now think of how many full time, financially successful, self employed artists you know. You will be fortunate to know 1 or 2, perhaps if your an artist, you may know more.
I speak to “professional” photography groups on a regular basis, probably two or more a month and I frequently ask how many full time, self supporting photographers to identify themselves and I’ll get 2-4 people raise their hands for every 100 attendees.
As many of you know my path to becoming a full time artist and being able to earn a decent living to support myself and my family was a long journey. It started at age 25 and it took me over 15 years to find myself and create a job where I was able to not only earn a decent living but also feel significant and able to express myself creatively in my career. www.scottrobertstory.com
What kept me going all those years of “failing”? Where did I find inspiration on a daily or weekly basis? It certainly was NOT found in my own reality because I was hard pressed to find one person who was a successful entrepreneur and furthermore one who also had an artistic career too. However, I was able to find an abundant supply of inspiration almost on a daily basis by watching movies!
I’ve always loved watching movies because I could always find stories where the hero conquered insurmountable odds and achieved the impossible. Just what I needed to see when life gets tough. Although most movies are fiction, good movies gave me a daily dose of inspiration that would help me continue to believe, dream and keep me moving forward towards my seemingly impossible goals. I’m not saying it was my only source of inspiration but it certainly was something that helped in a very practical way. There are so many movies out there where the hero has a sense of calling or purpose and goes on to achieve amazing feats even though there are insurmountable odds against him. Off the top of my mind I think of… The Matrix, Avitar, Rocky, Hoosiers, Slumdog Millionaire, Ratatouille, The Pursuit of Happyness, War Horse, Moneyball, Cinderella Man, etc. There are literally thousands of movies with stories that can inspire our hearts.
If you are on a budget, you can rent many movies for free at your local library or you can rent current movies for around $1 at RedBox at your local supermarket. Not only can you find a bit of inspiration but the bonus is that one can learn much about composition and lighting too when watching a quality movie with a huge budget.
Movies confirm in a small way one of my core beliefs…everyone is significant and has the ability to do great things because we are designed that way- there are so many popular movies that carry this theme, i.e. The Matrix, Avitar, etc. The bottom line is that to do the impossible and to keep our dream alive, we must find hope. The harder and more difficult the task, the more hope and hard work we’ll need.
If you feel you’re in need of a bit of inspiration, why not take a break for a couple hours and enjoy a good movie, see one every day if it will help you keep your dream alive because the world will try hard to take it away from you. The bonus is that movies are great for learning about light and composition too.
We may not find very many real life heroes to give us hope but there are many movies that can inspire us on a regular basis. Please leave a comment on some of your favorite movies that have inspired you!