Break the Chains of Mediocrity

In 1990 a young intern was trying to book the group N.W.A. on the Arsenio Hall Show.

Seeing the opportunity to be bold the young man said to Ice Cube, “I’m a junior at the USC film school and I’m writing a movie. When I graduate I’m going to put you in it.”

That man was John Singleton.

Ice Cube listened politely, then immediately forgot about the conversation.

A year later, Singleton bumps into Ice Cube at an event and says, “Remember me! I’m a senior at USC now and you’re still perfect for my movie.”

According to Ice, he wasn’t even thinking about a movie career. As far as he was concerned, acting was for Julliard students and theater nerds.

Time passes. Ice Cube leaves N.W.A. to launch a solo career. Then one night at the end of a Public Enemy concert he gets a tap on the shoulder.

Yup, Singleton again.

“Rember me?” he says.

Ice Cube laughs, “I remember you now dude. What’s up?”

For several hours John talks to Ice about his film but they leave without Ice agreeing to do the film.

Again, time passes until one day his manager tells him, “Someone wants to put you in a movie.”

Ice didn’t even read the script. He just showed up at Singleton’s office and sat down across from him.

With a smile John says, “See. I told you.”

That movie was Boyz n the Hood. The movie not only launched John’s career but changed Ice Cube’s life as well.

Never Be Afraid to Dream Big

I can only imagine the guts it took to pitch your own project to a celebrity while interning for a major TV show.

Those internships don’t come easy. And I don’t think Arsenio would appreciate the fact that this young kid was using his position to advance his career.

But he did it anyway.

John Singleton had a vision. And nobody was going to keep him from turning it into a reality.

How many people do you think told him he was crazy? That he should be more realistic? All the same things people tell you when you share your most ambitious goals.

Most people live lives of mediocrity. Somewhere between total failure and their true potential.

It’s not because they’re lazy or lack the knowledge necessary to be great.

It’s because they listened to the voices telling them to be realistic – and they let it affect their actions.

Eventually they turn into one of the voices telling others what ISN’T possible. And the cycle repeats.

Never let anyone tell you what’s possible. Not your friends, your family, your boss, or even your doctor.

They don’t know what you’re capable of. They don’t know the fire you’ve got. They’ve never seen you stand up and fearlessly hoist the black flag before boldly charging into an uncertain future.

They have no idea what your true potential really is.

Stay laser-focused on your vision. Never allow yourself to lose hope. It might take years. It might require you to suffer. At least for a little while.

But on the other side of that pain is the life you want. So go get it.

To be continued…


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