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Words of wisdom from a commencement address at Emerson College by award-winning filmmaker, SpikeLee:
“I think that amongst young people today, this being the age of instant gratification, everybody wants it now. Young people today stop me all the time and in the space that it takes for the light to turn from red to green as you’re standing on the corner, they want me to tell them in 30 seconds what’s the key ….
“The answer is, there are no shortcuts. You have to do the work, you have to have the dedication and kill yourself practically to get where you want to go ….
“No one’s going to give you anything. I found out that people who are successful are the ones that are truly in love with their art, the ones who persevere and have that grit. And the people who fall by the wayside are the ones who are in it for the money or want to be famous or what not.”
Tough love at a commencement speech – now that’s speaking dangerously! There’s so much here for any creative – anyone who wants to pursue a life in the arts:
“There are no shortcuts.”
“You have to the work.
“You have to be dedicated.”
“No one’s gong to give you anything.”
The key is that the only key that unlocks the door to success is hard work. To get where we want to go, we need to be “truly in love” with our art. We need to be the one of the rare ones – willing to persevere and show grit.
Can we do this? Yes! Showing up. Doing the work. Being dedicated. Loving our work and being devoted to it. Persevering and showing grit. All this is within our power. It’s about attitude and effort. Simple, but not easy, I know. But let’s forget about finding the key to success and just do the work. And along the way, the key will find us. Write on!