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 prison scene in Hurricane:
What can we learn?
Be a dispensary of encouragement. The encouraging thing about encouragement is, you don’t need that many people to believe in you. Just a small army of support. Even if it’s just one person who takes a real interest in your aspirations and encourages your goals and dreams, that’s often enough to fuel your creative endeavors. Because like epoxy glue, a little encouragement goes a long way. Especially during your formative years, when all you really need is that first person to take you seriously. Growing up in a family of artists and entrepreneurs, I was blessed to have been provided with all the necessary support to nurture my creative talent. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to learn just how rare that really was. Because most kids aren’t raised on a tsunami of acceptance. Their ambitions are scared into hibernation. There’s a dangling sword of disapproval over everything they do. It breaks my heart. And it’s not okay with me. That’s why I’ve always gaone out of my way to pay the encouragement forward. To support and believe in people, even when they don’t. Because it costs nothing to encourage. There’s no upside to not believing in people. It’s gift we can give to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and could change them forever. Who was the first person that took your ambitions seriously?
Be a stand for somebody’s greatness. Rubin already spent over sixteen years in prison for a triple homicide. But just when his case seems hopeless, he gets a phone call from supporters, who are now devoted full time to his cause. And that gives him the hope of freedom. More importantly, it gives him the burst of momentum he needs to convince the court to reinvestigate, rescrutinize and reverse his conviction. Sometimes that’s all you need. People to stand on their toes and hold up a light to show you what you can’t see for yourself. People to remind you to keep swinging, every day, forever, until it’s all over. Because without that brand of encouragement, some people may never realize just how bloody brilliant they really are. The first time I did an interview on national television, I received a phone call from a complete stranger who said five words I’ll never forget. Way to fucking go, kid. Little did I know, that man would eventually become a dear friend and mentor, from whom I learned more about creativity, business and mindset than all of the books in the prison library combined. What kind of support structure is most helpful to your dreams?
Resistance wants to rattle your faith. It’s existentially dangerous to feel that we’re not making meaning. That’s why following our ambitions and starting new ventures and biting into interesting projects are so galvanizing to the spirit. These endeavors save us from ourselves. They ward off feelings of insignificance, depression and inertia. But only if we have people to nudge us along. Because when you’re just starting out, searching for something to pour yourself into, battling a tide of nonbelievers can make you want to go hide in your room and hug the covers. Fifteen years ago, I had this crazy idea that I was going to wear a nametag, all day, every day, for the rest of my life. Most people thought I was insane. Some even told me I was insane. It felt like the chorus of nonbelievers was growing louder every day. But a few select people saw the start of something great. They saw the seed of an idea, sorting itself from others, that would no doubt take years to germinate and come to the surface, and would ultimately be worth the wait. So they encouraged me. They cheered for the parts of themselves they saw in me. And ultimately, with people power as wind at my back, I was able to persevere. The point is, we all need somebody who says this is just the beginning. That our story is headed somewhere. That the horizon we’re pointing to is worth the slog. Who does that for you?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you learn from this movie clip?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of the list called, “18 Lessons from 18 People Smarter Than Me,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
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