All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Today’s clip comes from the Vader scene in Revenge of the Sith:
What can we learn?
There are no
cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame. Early on in my
career, I had the opportunity to work under one of the most successful writers
in my industry. He offered me a substantial pay increase, access to a massive
audience and unlimited use of his company’s resources. Quite the offer. I was flattered to be asked. In fact, the personal
development opportunities alone would have been worth the job. But there was
only one problem. A big part of my
work would be delivering his material. Writing in his voice. Taking his truth
to market. And that bothered me. As I read over the job application, I remember
feeling a cold blade of premonition
slicing through my body. Because as attractive as the offer was, I knew
that if I took it, I wouldn’t be one hundred percent okay with myself. It’s
just the way I’m wired. It’s that stubborn artist inside of me who demands relentless
originality. Vader, on the
other hand, was seduced by the dark side. After the light saber duel with his
nemesis, his ruined body could only be repaired with cybernetic limbs and a
respiratory suit. And by the time he took his first breath, the emperor knew he
had successful turned the young apprentice into a dangerous weapon for ruling
the empire. It was official. Vader had come over to the dark side forever. And
we all know how that turned out. It’s a powerful reminder that each of us needs
to be courageous enough to pursue our own goals. To sing in our own voice. Otherwise
we become vulnerable for other people to recruit us to pursue theirs. Are you play
cover songs or making your own music?
Lost in someone
else’s dream. One of our goals in life is to make ourselves proud. To decide to bite
into something, do it really well, and then stand back and nod our head at the
finished product. There’s nothing quite like it. Finally, we say, something
lasting and uniquely ours. Something we have complete control over. Something
nobody can take away from us. Can anything beat that dancing smile of
satisfaction? Meanwhile, there’s an opposing force. The dark side. The
archenemy of our magical moment. The one that pins us down with other people’s
obligations and expectations and chores and work that stands in the way of the
pride we deserve to take. And if we’re not careful, we can end up spending our
life lost in someone else’s dream. Vader comes from a bloodline with strong
inherent capabilities related to the force. And he became a gifted pilot and
engineer who had the ability to see things before they happened. Palpatine, on
the other hand, was evil incarnate. A diabolical genius. The supreme ruler of
the most powerful tyrannical regime the galaxy had ever witnessed who used his
authority to manipulated the young jedi away from the light. That was his
downfall. Vader bowed to the wrong master. He never stopped to wonder if
working for the dark side was an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used. Are you
sacrificing your work by spending too much time being somebody else’s dream
Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it. At the heart of what it means to be a person is the
act of dreaming, doing and finishing. Coming alive through the pursuit of your
ideas. And the good news is, there has never been a better time go all in. The digital revolution has
made that process more accessible than ever before. But every great moment in
human history has an opposition that is proportional to its greatness. And
that’s the downside of dreaming. Spend five minutes online, and you’ll discover
a universal voice of anonymity waiting to shit on your dream. A chorus of
haters, frustrated that their dreams have not come true, whose sole purpose in
life to make yours feel like a nightmare. Yechh.
But we can’t let those uncompromising forces of reality scare us into working
small. Otherwise the dream devolves into something worse. Pressfield explains that our dreams don’t dissipate if we turn
our backs on them, they invert. They go underground. They turn negative and act
out. They surface as shadow forms of our heart’s desire. And those shadow
versions are never pretty. And so, as dreamers, we are obliged to at least try.
To at least believe that our sweetest dreams will not be stolen from us.
Because who knows? As my mentor once said, some of us are lucky enough to
experience the euphoria that comes with the knowledge that life has granted us
the grace of a dream realized. And even for those of us who come to the end of our
dream and, sadly, have nothing to show for it, at least we can be grateful to
have lived in place where dreams were had and followed. Did you work on your dream today?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you learn from this movie clip?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2015-2016.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!