6 Inspiring Life-Lessons From The Oscars

We were clapping and everything. By the way, I thought Billy Crystal did a stellar job – entertaining and slightly old-fashioned – just like the Oscars itself. Perfect.

It’s not just an entertaining event, full of obligatory glitz and glamour, it’s the culmination of many years of hard work, self belief and the big visions of some of the most talented people in the world.

Got a big dream? Here are 6 inspiring lessons we can all learn from the Oscars.

Dream big and hold on

Did you notice how many winners spoke about watching and dreaming of movies their entire lives? Over and over we heard…

I grew up watching movies…

I remember watching…

I’ve been in love with cinema since… 

“Thank you Mom for letting me skip nursery school so we could go to the movies.” Alexander Payne for The Descendants

“I grew up in New Zealand watching the Muppets on TV. I never dreamed I’d get to work with them,”  Bret McKenzie for The Muppets (Best Original Song)

“When I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was already rehearsing my Oscar speech.” Christopher Plummer for Beginnings

Many of the winners set a conscious intention and desire early in life to work in the entertainment industry and have held onto that dream through the work, auditions, failures and the self-doubt (not to mention the procrastination that plagues most creative endeavours).

Every manifestation starts with a goal and intentions are powerful. Get obsessed and immerse yourself in your dream .

Don’t take rejection personally

The average Oscar winning actor has failed hundreds, if not thousands of auditions on their way to the Kodak. They would have heard too old, too young, too fat, too shortmany times but they had to persevere despite the discouragement.

The fear of being rejected is often greater than the actual experience of it, but many people give up at the first hurdle. How do you react when you hear “no” – run away chastened or more determined to succeed than ever?

Every “no” is one step closer to a resounding “YES”. The Universe always rewards action in spite of great fear and you have no idea when your “lucky break” will happen.


It’s never too late

Christopher Plummer set a new record for oldest Oscar winner, at age 82, for his first Oscar, Best Supporting for Beginnings. Fellow nominee Max von Sydow, also 82 had thirteen years between nominations, but don’t count him out yet. He could still win in the future!

Viola Davis has arguably only just “made it” in the last two years at 46, and Melissa Leo won her Supporting award last year at 51, both practically ancient for a woman in Hollywood.

Have you mentally written yourself off for being too old to pursue your dream?


No need to be perfect

OctaviaLook at the winners this year, all reasonably normal looking people (albeit very talented ones). Octavia Spencer, the un-Botoxed Meryl Street, even Jean Dujardin’s adorably wonky teeth.

Other nominees were also refreshingly glamorous in a “real person” way. There’s no doubt that Octavia looked more glam than Angelina, despite not having a “perfect” Hollywood figure.

Pretty boys, Clooney and Pitt were left out. Maybe their good looks are becoming predictably boring?

What excuses are you using to avoid living your dreams; that extra 5 pounds or your slightly crooked nose? Confidence is much more attractive than perfection and you can break the mold.


Create your own opportunities

Rather than lament the lack of comedic roles for women in Hollywood, Kristen Wiig wrote her own. The result was refreshing; seeing women doing gross-out comedy andlook real on screen. She created her own big opportunity and she was nominated for an Oscar.

Justin Bieber (cameo in the opening video) famously started his career by busking and making YouTube videos. That kid was going to get discovered sooner or later.

Nobody giving you a chance? Who cares – put on your one-person show, film your own videos and keep showing up until they can’t ignore your talent.


Hustle, hustle and hustle some more

OscarsYou want the success? It’s not going to fall into your lap without some serious effort.

Max von Sydow made a whopping five movies in 2010 and two last year (at age 82!). Nominee Jessica Chastain was everywhere with six in 2011 and another six this year.

Octavia has been hustling since 1995, when she had a small part opposite Sandra Bullock in A Time to Kill, but didn’t really gain name-recognition fame until her nominated role in The Help. She has 95 film and TV credits to her name. That’s hustle and probably fulfils her Outliers 10,000 hours requirement.

Go out and get your hustle on. You can succeed simply by trying harder than your competition. Write more articles, audition more and be prepared to put the work in before you get your big break.

Every door you knock on, the Universe knocks on a thousand for you.


I hope the Oscars inspired you as much as me. I already can’t wait until next year!

Love, luck and gold statuettes,


Credits – trivia and photos from IMDB and Oscar.com