To produce anything worthwhile, we have to be proactive and generate it. We cannot sit around and wait and hope that it comes to us. 

We come alive when we are producing something we consider worthwhile. In fact, during these unprecedented times, it is the way we mentally and emotionally stay alive. No matter the landscape, creatives drive on with projects that matter to them. If they feel what they’re doing is of real significance, they devote all their energy and time to it.  

Let’s take Robert DeNiro as an example. “Raging Bull” was Robert DeNiro’s driving passion long before it became one of the greatest works of Martin Scorsese and ranked as the 4# Greatest Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute.  

De Niro realised, as many creatives do, it was no good waiting for people to give him a break. He believed he had to create his own and so he found an interesting book by Peter Savage and Joseph Carter called “Raging Bull” that he thought could be turned into a film. DeNiro carried the book around with him and showed it to everyone. 

No one, including Martin Scorsese, could understand what De Niro saw in the life story of Jake LaMotta, the 1949 to 1951 brutal middle weight boxing champion.  At first Scorsese wasn’t interested but after years of persuasion by De Niro, Scorsese became intrigued and finally agreed and the film went into production.  

In total it took DeNiro four years to convince everyone, including Scorsese, to make the film. When asked what he would have done if Scorsese had continued to reject his film idea DeNiro said, “I’d have found some other way to get him to do it.” 

“Raging Bull” went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed films ever and won DeNiro an Academy award for best actor.  

Doing what matters is what matters. 

Thom Knoles in his podcast “Vedic Worldview: Self Reliance” encourages us to ask ourselves: Towards what do I want to lean?  He then suggests in order to determine what matters to us we must nurture our sense of self and then “realise our intrinsic self-sufficiency and act accordingly.”   

Knoles explains self-sufficiency is not about isolation, it is about being one of the few who lead the many. That which you want to achieve starts with you taking action not waiting or expecting others to achieve it for you. You have to claim it. “Allow yourself to go from small to big”, says Knoles, “aware that transition and change are always a challenge to our intellect” but grow none the less. 

With “Raging Bull” one man’s insatiable passion lead many to greatness. Great actors are leaders. Are you ready to lead? What is your insatiable passion? 

“The least of things with meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Carl Jung