Weird Science to Iron Man…drug addiction to Hollywood’s most in-demand and highest paid actors. Sound Familiar? My pop culture mavens are screaming…that’s Robert Downey Jr.!!!
Yep, our very own Tony Stark took his personal reinvention to a Whole. Notha. Level off screen! I loved the guy in Pretty in Pink and Charlie Chaplin, forgave him for Tropic Thunder and have him etched in time after the ending of Avengers - Endgame. But it was those middle years that I held my breath as a fan. In between 1996 to 2001, he unquestionably played the role of a lifetime. Downey played himself. He sped down a road that included drug addition, rehab, jail, a tanking career and eventually self-discovery and ultimately recovery.
I was nine years old when Weird Science came out. I remember really wanting Ian, the preppy bully that Downey played in the film to get what was coming to him. Payback, ya know? And of course, throughout the movie he did play the foil. In a lot of ways, Downey was a lot like his character Ian, self-entitled and self-important. He was even crowned a member of the Brat Pack in the late 80’s. All this fame and access led him down a nearly impossible road to navigate and one that most don’t return from. But here's the silver lining; you don’t have to be typecast forever! You are allowed to make mistakes, learn, grow and change.
Thank goodness for that gift! Seriously, aren't you glad we don’t have to be who we are today…tomorrow? Reinvention is truly the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It’s our second act, the classic surprise ending that no one saw coming. Downey’s journey is easily one of Hollywood’s greatest reinvention stories over the last 30 years; but how did he do it? More importantly, what do you need to do to ensure that you can see your new storyline all the way to its new ending. Here’s my list of the top three drivers that will impact your groundbreaking and cinematic reinvention.
KNOW YOUR PLOT TWIST
A plot twist introduces a radical change in the direction or expected outcome of the story. It’s likely that your “plot twist” inspired your desire to reinvent yourself.
So, what’s was it?
Why are you on a road to reinvention?
What pushed you in a new direction?
The story goes that Robert Downey, Jr. was driving along Pacific Coast Highway in 2003, when he pulled over at a Burger King for a fateful fast food fix. As he dug into his burger, he came to an epiphany: it was time to clean up his habits. He then threw all of his drugs into the ocean. The first step on his reinvention journey.
So think about it. Name your plot twist. It’s a part of your story…your ‘why’. Trust me, you’ll tell people about this moment; and it will continue to provide the fuel you need to continue your second act.
NAME YOUR SUPERPOWERS
Do you know them…can you spit them out unapologetically? Your superpowers are the things that you do better than anyone else, your core competencies! You have to know that your gifts are unique; and it might take a while to see them for yourself. The stumbling block is most of us assume that everyone can do what we do. If you really think about it, you'll find that that is not usually the case. Take a sheet of paper and write down the skills and gifts that set you apart. Don’t sweat this…just sit back, get quiet and think about what people consistently say about you or how you make them feel. That list is your core competencies and gifts. These are your Superpowers.
If you’re having trouble with this list, just ask! Yep, use that handy smartphone and text 5-10 of your trusted friends and family the following message:
“Hey there! I’m working on a personal development project and need to poll a few people that know me the best. Would you take a minute or two to share my 3 core strengths and my 3 core areas of improvement?”
CALL YOUR SIDEKICKS
Ha, Ha, every superhero has a super sidekick(s) around to help them win the day! Your "super sidekicks" cheer you on, offer you sound advice and believe in YOU…better yet, they SEE YOU! These people know your superpowers and see them as a force for good!
If you’re the Green Lantern, who’s your Kato? If you’re Ironman…who’s your War Machine? So, you’re Wonder Woman, so who’s Wonder Girl? When you are reinventing yourself (better health, improved relationships, career moves, retirement journey), you NEED your people. You truly can’t do it alone.
Who are you going to bounce your ideas off of?
Who’s going to check in on you and ask “How’s that book coming along?”
Who’s going to celebrate with you when you land your first client?
Your "Super Sidekicks"…that’s who!
Well...there you have it. No need to overly summarize...it's pretty straightforward! Today, our lessons from Hollywood are:
Know your why...Know your what...Know your who!
And the church said....AMEN!