Lessons to be Learned from the Oscars!

by DavalosMcCormack on February 25, 2008

I had another article I was going to write for today but then I saw the Oscars and a thought struck me – with a personal trainer and a plastic surgeon I could look as good as some of those people (of course it would have to be a very good plastic surgeon). Actually, what struck me had nothing to do with the big name winners but with some of the lesser stars and the importance of being open to change.

Most of us, at some point or another, feel that our lives are not quite panning out the way we hoped. Maybe our job is boring or we don’t feel happy in our personal lives. But changing those circumstances is difficult. Even just trying to give up some bad habits and develop some good ones is hard.

That’s why when Diablo Cody won the Oscar for best original screenplay for “Juno” I was delighted. Here was a woman who just a few years ago was working as a stripper. Probably not what she had been planning on when she was at school. Then she started writing a blog about her job – and it took off (sorry, couldn’t resist that!) Her blog about stripping eventually turned into a book and it became a big hit. Then she was asked to write a screenplay about it, but instead chose to write “Juno” about a 16 year old girl was becomes pregnant. If you haven’t seen it yet, see it soon. It’s wonderful.

If you were to go up to the average stripper and say “you could win an Oscar in a couple of years” I’m sure the response you get is not something you could put on this blog. But Diablo Cody didn’t let people’s expectations about strippers or anyone else’s opinion of her limit what she thought of herself or limit what she did. She changed her life in a quite extraordinary way.

The same is true for Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the couple who won the Oscar for best original song for “Falling Slowly”. Hansard was originally hired to write a few songs for a movie to be shot in Ireland with a budget of a couple of million dollars. Things fell apart when the lead actor pulled out and the money followed him. So they made the movie anyway for a paltry $100,000 or so with Glen playing the lead.

The result was “Once”, one of the best movies of the year. Sweet, charming, delightful. With great music. Hansard had been quite well known in independent music circles for a while but the success of “Once” gave his career a boost. More importantly it gave him a new love, Marketa. The two fell in love during the making of the movie.

Hansard said when he first got involved in the project he thought it might be fun, interesting and a good way to earn a few extra dollars. It turned into something quite different, something completely wonderful, because he was open to the idea, open to the possibilities. Just seeing the look of joy on his face when he won the Oscar was absolutely infectious. It reminds you that anything can happen. Life can change for the wonderful.
Now the chances are that most of us will never win an Oscar. Good job too otherwise the ceremony would go on forever! But that doesn’t mean we can’t be open to the possibility of amazing changes taking place in our life, things we had never anticipated, taking us in directions we never imagined, because the one thing we can count on is change. Why not anticipate and prepare for “wonderful”? The only thing holding us back really, is ourselves.

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