Monday, December 27, 2010

Your ultimate vision (setting goals and writing them down)

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
 I’m not a big planner.

It's not that I don't ever plan.  I'm an organized guy and I do think ahead, but the organization skills I have acquired I have literally forced myself to learn out of necessity (and because it does make my life easier in the long run).  I’ve worked against my freewheeling and footloose personality, a supreme effort to balance my dreams with reality.

I’m mostly successful with that balancing act, though I must admit, when I met my (future) wife, she shamed me in her abilities to make five year and ten year goals that were not only ambitious, but ultimately attainable.

People who excel at that kind of goal-setting are inspiring to me on many levels.

Once, many years ago, while still a fledgling theatre student in my undergrad days in Vegas, I went out to eat at Planet Hollywood in the Caesar’s Forum shops. 

As many know, these restaurants are littered with film memorabilia of all kinds, from fake missiles used in a Schwarzenegger movie to the Blues Brothers’ hats (or is that at House of Blues?).

There was one particular historical artifact on the wall with immense substance.  It was only a piece of paper and it was never used in a movie.  Few know it exists.  Most of the diners walked right by it without ever noticing.  Inside a frame on the wall was a note by Bruce Lee in his own handwriting, dated in 1970 with the words SECRET and below:
 "By 1980 I will be the best known oriental movie star in the United States and will have secured $10 million dollars. And in return I will give the very best acting I could possibly give every single time I am in front of the camera and I will live in peace and harmony."
Had he lived until 1980 and seen the success of ENTER THE DRAGON, Bruce Lee would’ve accomplished those goals.
What I admire, though, is not just the ambition, but the specificity.  It’s not just that he wanted to be a movie star and make millions of dollars. He also wanted to give the very best acting and live in peace and harmony. 
Which makes me ask, what is your secret goal?  Have you written anything down for yourself for your life and what you want to do as an artist?
As 2010 comes to a close, I start setting goals for the year and for the next decade.  
What do you want to accomplish next year?  In the next ten years?
Go write it down.  
(If you want to see this note, I believe the letter is now at the Planet Hollywood in New York City).

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