August 8, 2015

Top Examples of Never, Ever Giving Up

We’re all in a race to fulfill our agendas. Some of us will win the contest; others will come in second; a few of us will be among the last to trickle in. What decides the winners? Are there specific determining factors at all? Are the victors luckier? More good looking? More powerful? Know the right people?

The answer to these questions may sometimes be “Yes.” However, I would propose that more often than not, the answer is “No.” Why? The simple answer is that success is often brought about by determination—the refusal to give up no matter what.

America’s Got Talent

I am a follower of this hit reality show. I find that the most winning acts are those who have spent years, even decades, perfecting their craft. In addition, these individuals don’t let obscurity, debt, physical limitations, marginalization, or family tragedy keep them from their goals. They are the epitome of willpower.

Such contestants are shining examples to those of us who are also dealing with struggles. They are the essence of choosing our own destinies and refusing to be pigeonholed.

The Princess Bride

I just finished reading a memoir of the making of this iconic movie written by star, Cary Elwes, entitled As You Wish. This iconic movie is a prime showcase for determination in so many ways. I will list only a few of them:

William Goldman’s original book was unique in its blend of fantasy, action, romance, and comedy. For this reason, most of the leading directors and movie studios were reluctant to touch it. After 12 years, Rob Reiner agreed to take it on. Still, he struggled against many naysayers and setbacks.

Actors Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin were playing characters that needed to enact “The Greatest Swordfight in Modern Times”. Here’s the catch: neither of them had fenced much before joining the cast. Patinkin immediately hired a top American fencing coach to train him for two months. Together, Patinkin and Elwes trained for only two months under the top two Hollywood fencing masters. No stuntmen were used in the final scene, except for the acrobatic stunts. That’s why there are no wide shots obscuring faces.

Wallace Shawn was cast as Sicilian mob boss, Vizzini. Shawn was a veteran playwright, dancer, author, and actor. He was also a professor of literature. His academic credentials included a B.A. in history from Harvard and the study of economics and philosophy at Oxford. Yet, Shawn had a deep-seated sense of insecurity. He had to overcome his fear of heights as well as his fear of being replaced.
Yes, the man who made the word “Inconceivable!” forever famous was inconceivably unsure of himself. First of all, he walked out of the audition room and had to be coaxed back in. Also, Shawn had heard a rumor that he had been third choice for the role; he constantly dreaded being fired. Director Rob Reiner often had to reassure him.
My Conclusion

Are you determined to accomplish your goals?

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