The oscar awards for 2019 are now behind us, and while the winners got to hold their statuettes in front of millions of viewers and bask in the Oscar’s glow, the losers, most probably, put on a brave face, licked their wounds and said ‘What the hell, better luck next time?’
Whether the nominees deserved to win or lose is not the question. The question is is there any point in winning awards to begin with? Yes, awards will give the artist the kudos they so desire; the future higher pay cheques the agents wishes for; and will also inevitably bring forth further esteemed projects knocking at the artist’s door.
But, and there is the but, for those who won, apart from elevating their spirit will it cause them to reflect upon their previous experiences and propel them to strive further and go beyond their tried and tested capabilities?
They say success is expensive. How so? (And this is reflective of any business out there that’s looking to create and serve the public) The moment a company or an individual reaches the pinnacle of their career or achieves a heightened status supported by great critics and rave reviews from the media, that is the time when one has to take stock of oneself and ask the important question ‘what’s next?’ ‘How do I extend my services or creative skills further?’ ‘How do I reach farther, and improve upon myself or the product better than before?’
We’ve all seen actors who’ve won the Oscars only to be neglected and forgotten in the years that followed. Restaurants that earned their stars but somewhere along the way have lost their impetus and their taste for the business and floundered throughout. Or brands that built up a great following and a dedicated fanbase through the quality of their products yet their assurances and reliability has faded with time.
Yes, life can have it’s set backs and knock outs if we let our guard down. The challenge is to keep our guard up at all times and not let our ego get in the way. To keep ourselves motivated, inspired and challenged. To go beyond the scope of what we’re accustomed to and sometimes even try out more daring and risqué stuff.
I met a director once, who’s been in the film industry for several decades and made impressive films throughout his career, although he did tell me that he’d never want to win an award since, he believes, that would be the beginning of the end of his career, that winning an award would somehow, subconsciously, convince him to hang up his hat, secede to the industry and retire from having to do any further work. It’s as if the industry would’ve convinced him to bang the final nail onto his own coffin so to speak.
Whether that’s true or not I’m not here to judge but if I’m not mistaken, the message I got from the chat is that for as long as he’s alive and kicking he’d prefer to keep on doing what he’s been doing without the industry’s interference with his creativity and without the need to be showered with awards, prizes or being kowtowed to or pandered to his whims.
So, consider this the next time you’re nominated for an award whether big or small. If you were to win one what is the next step that you would take? What next mountain would you climb which is that slightly steeper than the one you’ve just climbed? What’s the next target you’d be hoping to hit which is increasingly further than the one you’ve just smashed? What, specifically, can you do to excel even further and go beyond your capable talents?
Keep asking yourself these questions and who knows, maybe one day you too will be holding some form of a statuette on stage and will have that resounding murmur in your mind whispering to you ‘Hey, lets not rest on our laurels – what’s next?’