What I Learned from Joaquin Phoenix…
One of my favourite actors is Joaquin Phoenix. I haven’t seen all of his movies – far from it. My favourite thus far is Ladder 49 which inspired me in ways I cannot describe. I’ve been eyeing the trailers and reading very positive reviews of his latest forthcoming movie – You Were Never Really Here; but a couple of days ago, I read an interview with him that took my respect to another level.
The following is from an interview with Phoenix in this month’s edition of Esquire magazine
“I’ve realised that very often the way I think things should go just isn’t right, to be honest. So I’ve become more open to experiencing things as they actually are, and not trying to control everything (…) I’m more excited to discover how things are going to transpire in life.”
“In your twenties, you’re auditioning for things you’re certain of, and when they don’t happen, you’re like, ‘%$£&!’ But then years later you look back – and who knows how life would have turned out if that did happen? (…) I’m just really happy with where life is at right now, you know?”
I don’t know about you, but I could truly relate to this honest, personal reflection. Instead of auditions, I would insert job interviews or seemingly missed opportunities, or failed business ventures. You can fill in your own blanks – I’m sure.
It’s almost as if, when you get older or when you begin to truly examine yourself, you find you’ve become pretty good at some things – perhaps only one thing – and it is a genuine blessing to others whenever you get the chance to do it. Moreover, you can find a liberation in that you are also less bothered about whether you fail or not. Perhaps you find that you are freed from the arrogance that is afraid of looking stupid.
When I was younger I desperately wanted ‘the job’ for all kinds of reasons. Personal ambition, attractive salary, a position to be proud of (as well as quietly boast of) and a sense of purpose. All normal things that make up your average male ego.
If your ego has been reduced, you become more outward-looking and the realisation that it doesn’t have to be all about you causes blessing to flow from the things that you do.
The important thing is who you truly are and how you make other people feel whenever they’re around you.
We can all get even better at that all of the time.
Does this encourage me to go and see Joaquin’s latest movie? You bet it does!