And The Winner Is…. 

As I write this article, an estimated 40 million people are planning to watch the 84th Annual Academy Awards.  The audience will be filled with iconic film stars, hopeful wannabees and seat fillers, all there to witness Hollywood’s biggest event.  As the stars line the red carpet and award nominees take their seats, the energy in the Theater will be a mixture of high hopes, anxious anticipation and wonder.  Wondering…

  • Will I get to take Oscar home?
  • Will I remember my acceptance speech?
  • Will I be able to hold my composure if my name isn’t announced (as the cameras zoom in on the ones who didn’t win)?
  • Will I make it to People Magazine’s “Best Dressed” or “Oh my … what was she thinking?”

Yes, tonight is the night, but in truth, it’s just one of many nights.  The winners will leave with a trophy to place on their shelves, a sense of accomplishment and increased opportunities and revenue as a result of receiving this public acknowledgement.  As I begin to ponder the range of emotions and reactions to this award by the eager hopefuls who do not win, the ones who do win and to all of the viewers who place varying levels of importance on the award, I’m reminded of a profound statement shared by Maya Angelou.

She was appearing on the show Iconoclasts (one of my favorites), paired with the comedian Dave Chappel.  They were sharing conversation and great laughs when Dave paused and asked Maya how she deals with all of the attention, fame and accolades she receives.  She thoughtfully responded (paraphrased to the best of my recollection), “Well you see, I’ve learned not to pick up too much from all of the wonderful things that people say about me because if I do, then I’d  also have to pick up when they say things that aren’t so good.”

In our quest for success we each have our own version of an Oscar, the greatest award or achievement we want to receive. I believe it is essential to long term success to have an Academy Award to shoot for and that it’s just as important to be mindful of our true value and greatness – that is not judged by whether or not we win an award, but rather upon the essence, intention and personal excellence we bring to all of our actions.

I pray that your shelves be lined with awards that reflect your true greatness, ones that last beyond tonight’s big show, tomorrow’s headlines and this week’s People Magazine.

Here are some of the awards I see lining my shelves:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Mother, Friend, Catalyst for Transformation
  • Speaker of the Year
  • Best Active Listener
  • Best Song (the one I write with Bruce Springsteen)

Denis Waitley said:  “Your mental picture of yourself is the key to your healthy development. You are the writer, director, and star of either an Oscar-winning epic or a Grade B movie. Who you see in your imagination will always rule your world.”

What Awards Line Your Shelves?

And the winner is ….YOU!

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