You may not be a fan of Star Wars, or of science fiction in general. You may not like the directing style of George Lucas. But one thing that no one can argue with is his success. My wife has been reading a book about the making of the first Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It took George Lucas four years to make the first Star Wars movie. He directly oversaw almost all of the work himself, and dealt with a movie company who didn’t want to fund his movie or trust his direction decisions, a special effects company in California who didn’t complete work unless George was right there making it happen, and a labor force in London that would NEVER work past 5:30 and took three meal breaks a day. Fun fact, George Lucas hated writing, but he wrote the story and dialog for this movie by making himself sit at his desk 8 hours a day until the story was done. He didn’t wait to be “inspired,” instead he was just disciplined enough to get the job done! He was dedicated to his work, still working on the sound reel up to the day that the movie was released in theaters.
The point of this story is that this man decided he was going to be successful at something and he didn’t quit until he made it work. He was passionate about what he was doing, and didn’t give up when things got hard, when people stood in the way of his creativity, or when he didn’t reap immediate rewards. Something else we can learn is that you don’t have to be an expert in a field before starting; you learn as you go. Star Wars was only the third film Lucas had directed. But he still gave it everything he had and more! The Star Wars universe that we see today is the result of the very dedicated work of one man not calling it quits, even in the months and years of frustration and resistance. His key: a little every day. He did something every day to make his dreams a reality. It wasn’t his hobby, it was his life and passion!
We often find ourselves making a hobby of something that we say we want to do with our lives, and then wondering why it doesn’t work out. We let the urgent take over the important things. We let the daily clamour of life get in the way of dedicating ourselves to what we are good at and are passionate about. Do you really want to work for yourself? Do you really want to be the best painter, salesman, electrician, musician? What are you doing about it? Are you wishing, waiting for inspiration, or putting in an hour a week? Success is based on routine and habits applied over time. Creating a habit requires that you have a reason bigger than right now, and discipline to make yourself do it for at least three weeks consistently. Do you have what it takes, or do you just wish you had what it takes, but don’t want to work for it? We see someone’s success and wish it were ours. What we don’t see is what the success was built on: Rejection, discipline, sacrifice, late nights, doubts, failure, criticism, risk, and persistence, and did I say hard work!
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone
This is not the part where you promise yourself that you will be committed to X until you are a raving success. That isn’t enough. You have to ask “Why am I doing this?” Then you have to let your ‘why’ drive you to make habits. Then you have to make your habits a way of life. Then over time you begin to see the fruit being produced, from the seeds of success that you planted, weeks, months, or even years ago, and have continued to water through your decisions and choices of how to use your time!
When you look at what you have achieved and what you want to achieve, don’t look at where you are not, rather look at where you want to go and build a road to get there. Find people to help you, encourage you, and people who will kick you in the seat of the pants when you want to quit. Make success a way of life, not a hobby. If you do this, you may be the next George Lucas, the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Wright Brothers, the list goes on. Hard work is what they had in common. Not luck.
Create your own luck, Own it. Do it. Be Better.
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