Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lessons in the art of resilience

Do you ever wonder whether all your efforts are being in vain? Do you ever ask yourself if you should give everything up and start a new career? In all professions and businesses, disappointment comes in waves, but that is no reason to do anything foolish.

Please do not throw anything away, make yourself a cup of tea, and let me draw a few facts to your attention. The best lessons can be learned from those who have experienced failure the most often and have found the way to turn it into success.

  • Barely 16% of movies make money for their financiers. Most other films are little more than financial black holes.
  • Only 5% of actors make as much money as a mid-level employee, that is, during the years when actors are lucky enough to find work at all.
  • Less than 1% of movie scripts ever get made into films, despite the fact that many scripts are rewritten a dozen times before they are finally rejected.
Despite their glamour, film festivals are playgrounds where people spend their days saying no to each other. Hundreds of movie producers attend the Cannes Film Festival with projects under their arms, trying frantically to raise money from film distributors around the world.

Ten days later, when the festival is over, most of those movie projects are still unfunded and die an early death. Disappointment and rejection belong to the nature of the film business as much as exciting stories and colourful personalities.

Nevertheless, despite all difficulties, you see those people get up from the ground, take a shower, change clothes, and go back immediately to work on the next project. How come that they don't give up and quit the movie business disgusted with the lack of opportunity? Here are the three reasons:

1.- NEVER TAKE IT PERSONALLY. If a project is rejected, maybe it was not the right time or the right people. If there is a lesson to be learned for the future, learn it. Sometimes, there is none, so just shrug your shoulders and move on.

2.- WHEN YOU MAKE IT, YOU CAN MAKE IT BIG. Movie producers who never had a single great success in their careers know that the next film could be the right one. When a movie catches the taste of the public, there is no limit to how far it can go.

3.- THROUGH PROGRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT, YOU WILL ULTIMATELY FIND THE WAY. Nobody knows everything about any business and the rules of success are changing everyday. There are no limits to how much you can learn. You can develop breakthrough ideas. Your decision to stay in the game for the long run already puts you ahead of most people.

Do not waste time wondering if all your efforts are being in vain. Instead, devote your days to looking for the next opportunity. Never ask yourself if you should give everything up. Instead, build on what you already have and learn how you can improve. 


In all professions and businesses, disappointment comes in waves. Learn to move with the flow and enjoy the come-and-go. Waves are just waves. They can only hit you hard if they catch you standing still.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]