If you wish to make it big, you better make sure you’ve got some serious contacts.
Trust me, sycophancy is a proven method to reaching instant success.
It’s certainly not sustainable; but it works.
So does Luck, or Coincidence.
It’d be a myth to believe otherwise,
Miracles do happen, but rarely do we hear about the 99% that didn’t make it.
Since we focus too much on the 1% that do.
Replicating their formula, so that maybe — we too, may find fame.
Doesn’t always work, but there’s no harm in trying.
First and foremost, ask yourself this: What is success?
Is it money?
Is it recognition?
Is it an award?
Is it happiness?
Because whichever we pick, requires a compromise.
It requires a certain set of discipline.
Creative control? We all value that.
I know I’d never trade creative control for fame, I don’t see the point in losing my voice over false recognition.
Though, certainly, many might — and there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Don’t make the assumption of confusing merit with success.
We’ve all heard the stories, how some great artist got discovered in their lowest moments.
I love Eminem, I love his story, I love how he was able to retain his voice and still gain success; and his honesty towards recognising his past and being content with it.
I love Warren Buffett’s story, but most people haven’t heard of Peter Lynch; the man who defined the art of investing.
Children of Men, The Shawshank Redemption, and Fight-Club; were all not the great performers at the Box-Office.
Another example may be Vincent Van Gogh, he never saw the millions his art would go on to generate or the generation of artists he inspired.
Yet we still talk about them to this very day, Shawshank is still often referred to as one of the great movies of all time.
Then there’s The Godfather; a film that not only garnered financial success but is also considered a spectacle, one that ages like fine wine — still relevant to this very day.
Cult Classics like The Big Lebowski, wasn’t a great performer at the box-office either and left critics quite confused.
So what exactly is the point, Nabeel?!
Point is, shit happens.
Like that time when Crash won the Oscar, instead of Brokeback Mountain in 2006.
Some times the greatest work does not see the light of day, and well some times complete utter shit ends up resonating.
Take the music industry for example, it’s dominated with crap that brings in millions.
It’s certainly not lasting fame though, despite it being a financial success; I highly doubt we’ll be talking about it for years to come.
In terms of repeated viewing and legacy, Brokeback Mountain and Capote (Nominated the same year) defeated Crash; probably the only time Crash is even mentioned is when there’s talk of how great Brokeback Mountain is (in my opinion).
To me, Success is sustainability.
Work that continues to stay relevant, continues to inspire, conversations are still had about it.
The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Godfather, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Vivian Maier, Robin Williams, Don Rickles, Hans Zimmer, Stanley Kubric, Sidney Lumet, and the list goes on…
Work that leaves a remarkably lasting impact, embedding itself into the backbone of inspiring a generation to come.
Whilst it may have certainly missed the mark at the first draw, doesn’t mean it didn’t land where it intended to.
Into the very core of artistic integrity, and the soul of another visionary.
An homage to the names still remembered for the generation they inspired, and the names forgotten of for they were nothing but a passing fad.
Thank you for reading.