Using the Force - How George Lucas Achieved Success
From quiet, humble beginnings in Modesto, California to a multi-million dollar ranch and hub of activity in Nicasio, Lucas has taken the film industry by storm.
He Followed His Passion
“I had a different life planned out for me,” says Lucas as he reflects on his career. “But then, you know, I had that story sitting there.” The level of success that Lucas achieved in the world of filmmaking must be primarily attributed to the passion he had for his craft. He realized in film school that he would not be able to devote himself to anything but film. He tried joining the Air Force, he tried joining the Army, but sign after sign was pointing him towards film. American pop culture would be a vastly different picture today had Lucas not followed his passion.
He Recognized His Strengths and Shortcomings
“Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that’s one of the hardest things to do because you don’t always know exactly where you’re going, and you shouldn’t,” says Lucas. Lucas knew what he was good at and he stuck to that, a sure-fire recipe for success. He also was able to recognize where his weaknesses lay and where he needed to acquire new skills, namely in the technological realm. He did what needed to be done to realize his dreams.
“The secret is not to give up hope,” says Lucas. “It’s very hard not to because if you’re really doing something worthwhile I think you will be pushed to the brink of hopelessness before you come through the other side. You just have to hang in through that.” Rejection after rejection, Lucas focused on the larger vision of getting his films made. He developed a close circle of trusted friends from whom he accepted constructive criticism, but learned to ignore others who were simply trying to bring him down.
He Thought Creatively
“Whatever has happened in my quest for innovation has been part of my quest for immaculate reality,” says Lucas. Indeed, in Lucas’ case, necessity was the mother of invention. Lacking the existing technology to produce his film, Lucas decided to innovate and create it. His business strategies to control the marketing and sequel rights were novel and their success took the film studios by surprise. But, Lucas’ creative mind is no more evident than in each of his films, where his unique visions come to life before our very eyes.
He Lent a Helping Hand
Throughout his career, Lucas has understood the power of a helping hand, a supportive push. Early on, the friendships he maintained with his fellow filmmakers served as one of the catalysts for his success. They broadened their definitions of success and went against the competitive nature of business to help each other make it in the industry. Once he became wealthy, Lucas used his fortune to begin giving back to others. “You can be as rich, and famous, and powerful as you want to be, and it will not bring you happiness,” he says.
“I’ve worked hard enough and earned enough to fail for the rest of my life,” says Lucas. “And I’m going to do it!” Now that Lucas has achieved such unparalleled success, he is focusing his energies on smaller side projects that, he acknowledges, might fail financially. But, he claims, “I’ve seen again a lot of people go through this life, who are working so hard, they wake up one day and realize that those things that they said, ‘I’ll do that someday, I’ll do that someday’, well, that someday is today.
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