The Myth of More
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
I was scrolling through Twitter in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's departure to heaven and landed on a short video of Denzel Washington dropping some knowledge.
He makes a point about how we are now overwhelmed by choice or as he puts it "free will on steroids". What he says isn't new information but it resonated strongly within me. Attention in this digital hungry world is currency! Everything is programmed to take as much of it from us as possible—so, I'm going to keep this short😄.
Power is in what you choose
It was a surreal moment when Chadwick Boseman died, one which gripped so many hearts around the world. I was like "God, this one hurts. I feel like crying😢". He was one actor who strived to be effective with the time he had. In an interview with IndieWire, longtime agent Michael Greene talked about how Chadwick didn't want to play roles that kept perpetuating the stereotypes.
Choosing empowering roles was a top priority for Boseman. The actor revealed in January 2019 that he got let go from an early gig on the soap opera “All My Children” for refusing to play a character that was a Black stereotype. Greene remembered, “After Chad’s first script, they literally said, ‘Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not playing those images,’ and he went into the writers room, and they fired him.” (Read full article)
Chadwick Boseman 1976-2020 🙏🏾 Credit: Getty
Wow! What a guy. He turned down roles that on paper looked great for business but had no impact on his purpose. The acting world is highly competitive, so turning down work for moral reasons may really limit your chances for other roles. Although he doesn't have a huge selection of movie roles, Chadwick was able to land the ones that mattered. In the end, he opted for less but obtained more—much more. R.I.P
To be effective one must be selective
When everything is an option, can we truly be effective? No, we can't because it's not sustainable. As the saying goes, “if you aim at nothing you'll never miss”. I call this The Myth of more. I believe if we're more selective we'll be more effective. This could be choosing who you want to influence, the books you read or who you follow on social media to name a few.
This will give your creativity some much-needed boundaries. Being selective will help you create new systems or ways of working that don't match the status quo. It takes time and courage to find your niche, your tribe and your voice in this loud world. You're not alone. I'm still refining my selection in these areas and that means I may have to pass on the good to obtain the great—but it will only make it taste that much sweeter.
Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you ve got. There's no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative. - Jason Fried (Rework)
Thank you for your attention!
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