It was the Golden Globes awards ceremony last night and, if you hadn't heard, one of the bigger winners, as expected, was The Artist.
I haven't seen it yet, Dunoon being blessed with an improved but not yet multiplex cinema, but am keen to. It doen't fit my normal viewing genres but it must be a good film and therefore worth a look.
As I considered it though, a few questions came to mind that apply to us and our lives. The Artist seems to be good because it's different - black and white films are not in abundance at the moment and silent films are even less common. Maybe though its good and its different - I won't know until I've seen it. The question is, did it win the awards because its different and has it been made it different deliberately to win an award. Reading about the director, I suspect he set out to make a different film because that's what he enjoys - the fact that it is successful is probably a nice bonus though.
What about us - do we deliberately do things in order to win awards, the acclaim of the crowds or the commendation of our boss? Alternatively, are we working to produce our best because it brings us satisfaction - if we get a pat on the back then its a nice extra? How often do we focus on the praise that we'll get from someone else? A frequently asked question of mine is, 'How do you know you have been successful?' - we need to be able to determine it for ourselves rather than waiting for an external person or body giving us the big thumbs up.
And what about being different - so much of society now is very monochrome, with everyone looking like everyone else and if they don't, then simply trying harder to. People want to fit in and think that the way forward is to be identical. As I write this I think of the magazines where they show you what the stars wear and then give you the cheap alternatives so you can almost exactly copy them. Great, if I want to follow, but what if I want to stand out, be different, lead the way?
It seems the truly successful people in this life are those with the courage to go their own way, no matter where other people are going and to be content with that path, whether it wins plaudits or not. Doing what you want to do, as well as you can, brings its own rewards.
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Nick has been writing for mass consumption ever since he was sending newsletters home from the Philippines 20+ years ago. He has carried on putting finger to keyboard, branching out into magazines, manuals and recently submitting lots of words for books. He has always aimed to be entertaining but at the same time challenging. If you like something, feel free to pass it on to someone else, but if you are challenged by it then even better - write a comment, start a debate, add to the fun.