Weekender: Ethan Hawke on the Perception of Success

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Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a dash of encouragement to start your weekend off on the right track. Why just a dash? Because it’s the weekend!

When capturing your success, have you ever considered why it remains just beyond your grasp? Perception may be your issue. On the Nerdist podcast, accomplished actor, director, and writer Ethan Hawke was asked how he controls his perception of an outcome. Interviewed the day before learning whether he won a Golden Globe award for his work in the acclaimed film Boyhood, Ethan discussed how he defines success.

My daughter texted me this morning to say ‘good luck tomorrow.’ I wrote back and said I already won. She said, ‘You did?’ And I’m like, no, not literally, dammit. I’m doing what I love and people are patting me on the back about it. If I didn’t win, hell, who did, right? There’s no scenario where I lose tomorrow. I’m working with my best friend in the world on a movie that is actually kind of original that I love… And someone’s going to tell me I lost? F–k you.

Are you waiting for someone to tell you what a great job you’ve done? If so, you may be waiting a long time. When others define your success, there aren’t enough accolades to make you feel good enough about yourself.

The act of winning is not about an award or compliment given by someone else; it is based on where you set your end-goal and whether you are able to appreciate your accomplishments. Don’t let others label you as a success. Label yourself by your standards, your benchmarks, and your ideals.

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