James Cameron: college drop-out, serial entrepreneur, explorer, artist, philanthropist and a tremendous warrior for the environment – and one of the most inspiring people on this planet. He has written and produced more than twenty-five films and documentaries including The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Titanic, and Avatar; that have made millions and millions of dollars around the world.
But how did a small town kid from Chippawa, Ontario go on to dominate Hollywood and win 11 Oscars in the process?
Here are three lessons we can learn from visionary James Cameron on creating a big life:
1. Take actions towards your dreams and never give up
“The universe is like a giant bank vault lock, where the tumblers are constantly moving and once in a while the tumblers line up and you have to listen for the click. So you must be prepared in that moment to step through the door.” – James Cameron
There are moments when you may not know what to do next, how to move forward or what kind of decision you should take. Moments in which you find yourself living an unfulfilled life, but know deep inside that you have the power to create your own reality. That’s what happened to James Cameron. After leaving college he lived one of the most frustrating periods of his entire life. He was constantly questioning why he was coming up with such great ideas when he didn’t know how to put them into place. After seeing Star Wars he changed his perspective about life and decided to quit his job as truck driver and make action towards his dream. After writing his first science fiction script for a ten minute short titled Xenogenesis his career as filmmaker began.
Therefore, when you are facing a difficult moment in your life or you need to take an important decision, you have the power to make your own choice. Ask yourself: “If I make this choice today, how will impact my future?” Be prepared, know what you want and move towards it, no matter what!
2. Dare to dream big and be extraordinary
“I set my goals way higher than the achievable. And when I fail, I fail at a very high level. That’s my process. It’s really demented, but it actually works. When you are aiming really high and doing something new, you must be also prepared to fail, learn from your mistakes and begin with a new plan. More motivated than before.” – James Cameron
When anyone is starting a big project there is the thrill of the idea, of possibilities, that moment when the fantastic becomes possible, just barely possible, and you begin to experience amazing things happening in your life – because you allowed yourself to dream big and be unrealistic. We have the tendency to place ourselves within boundaries that define who we can and cannot be. This mindset causes us to settle for the lowest level of our potential.
So form a clear, detailed picture of what the bigger version of your life looks like; one in which you’ve already attained your greatest goals and fulfilled your deepest desires. When you do something that no one has ever done before you become aware that something really important is happening in your life and you feel privileged just to witness it.
3. Create a bond of respect
“But now I look back and every single thing I learned in my young age has paid off for me. How to drive a truck and even scraping the gums from the bottom of school desks gave me something that I value now: respect.” – James Cameron
Learning to respect past circumstances, people’s efforts, abilities and opinions is an essential quality to be a great leader and a successful entrepreneur. It’s really easy, all you have to do is to treat people the way you like to have them treat you.
Thank them for their assistance and their support on a regular basis. When others are successful, draw attention to them and celebrate their achievements. You will immediately earn not just their respect, but their trust as well. You must be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others, because you get in return what you give!
James Cameron is a clear example that the road to success is not a straight line: It’s a winding road. You have to imagine it first, you have to draw it for yourself, you have to work hard and then you have to walk it. Find your passions, find the things that really move you – don’t listen to the naysayers, just go for that. Protect your dreams and ideas and fight for what you stand for, because the world needs the special gift that only you have.