It wasn’t too long ago. I was waiting in the rain for my train to arrive. I had just come from delivering a speech at a small conference for youth in a town on the outskirts. It felt like forever, so I decided to look for something to occupy my time: a newspaper, a bird frolicking about, or even an autumn leaf dancing salsa with the wind as its partner.
At that moment, a thought hit me. A thought that I’m sure has hit many of you countless times in your lives. I sat there and wondered, “Is this it?” We ask ourselves this because inside all of us is a yearning to be a hero, to impact the world in some sort of way, to leave a lasting contribution.
I want to share an exercise with all of you. I would love it if you would do it with me.
It’s the night of the Oscars in Hollywood. There you are, on the red carpet, making your way to the hall where all the celebrities, the best of the best, have gathered.
Ladies, you look fantastic. You’re wearing that classy, sexy outfit you’ve had your eye on for a while, and you’re wearing it extremely well. Those gorgeous heels are a perfect add on, not to mention the hours you spent on that hair of yours. Everything is just perfect.
Gentlemen, same goes to you. Looking absolutely spiffy in that amazing suit (Armani, is it?), polished shoes and an overall great clean look.
Everyone is taking pictures of you, taking pictures with you, and attempting to get your autograph. For that night, all eyes are on you.
Now, you’re not at the Oscars tonight because you wanted to just hang out. No. You’re here because the movie you starred in, is being nominated (and rumour has it, might win the award) for Best Motion Picture.
You make your way in, and sit down among all the other celebrities in this giant hall, and guess what? They’re about to play your movie.
Thousands are watching in the theatre, and millions upon millions are watching through their TVs.
Then, your movie starts to play.
Here’s the catch. The movie is the story of your life, from the day you were born, until now.
You might have mixed reactions to this, most people do. But the questions to ask yourself, as I did, were…
“Am I proud with what everyone is about to see?”
“Do I think this is an Oscar-winning movie?”
“Did I live an Oscar-winning life?”
“Did I live Oscar-winning moments each and every single chance I had?”
You might have, you might have not. That’s for you to decide. And if your answer is no to any of these questions, it’s time to ask yourself.
“Could I have lived an Oscar-winning life if I had really wanted to?”
It’s Not Too Late
I would like to throw out a question here. If a relationship is based on trust, and let’s say a “best friend” is someone you trust the most, then who is your best friend?
If your answer is yourself, you’re right.
Because no matter how many people encourage you, friends or family, only you decide to keep yourself going on that path to success. Only you can decide whether you want to live an Oscar worthy moment or not. Only you can push yourself to grow every day. Only you can ensure that in this life, you live, love, and matter (from my entry 3 Life Goals We Ignore Until It’s Too Late)
Let’s try another question. Who is your worst enemy?
That’s right, yourself.
Because on that path to success, only you can stop yourself. Only you can inhibit your growth, and only you can limit your potential. Only you can decide to place doubts and let them dictate yourself. Only you can decide that something is impossible, when in fact it isn’t.
Decision, Discipline & Determination
If you weren’t proud of the movie, or rather, of your life, then perhaps you’ve been letting your worst enemy call the shots up until now. But here’s the great thing, it’s not too late at all. Decide to live an Oscar winning life at this very moment. Accept the fact that nothing will stop you, and act upon it.
When you’re confronted with adversity, ask yourself, “How many days do I have to waste before I can get on with my life?”
Be the Director of your life, not just simply an actor.
Live an Oscar-winning moment every day, and then watch every day become a day you love waking up to in the morning. Watch every day become a day where you go to sleep at night knowing that on that specific day, you lived, loved, and mattered.
Most importantly, be yourself. Everyone else is probably already taken.
I leave you with this.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A movie, well over a thousand pictures. But life, life is worth thousands upon thousands of movies. It’s up to you to make sure that each and every movie is an Oscar-winning one.