Several years ago I took a workshop with Sam Christensen. It was a a branding workshop for entertainers but really for anyone who works with people or the public. He believes that we all have a story we tell with our lives, it’s a part of our essence. And the most charming and charismatic people are the people who reflect their true essence to others. The workshop was worth every penny because you walk away knowing how others see you and more about yourself. At the end of the workshop you get a list of sentences that describe your essence and two words that represent your personal story. The sentences can be daily affirmations or used on personal business cards, anything really. The two words, at least for storytellers like myself, can be used as the two ends of the spectrum when selecting stories to tell, be it in film or with a pen. My two words explained why I have always adored Audrey Tautou, The Matrix and the Blues. It also made me smile because of my devout faith. My two words were Conviction and Compromise. And a few of my sentences were –
- Bold as a lion, silent as a deer.
- The Princess demurs.
- I’m not unsure, I’m just not sure.
- Climbed right to the top of the high dive and sailed into the air.
- The promise of a rosebud, the generosity of the rose full bloom.
- The Butterfly Effect.
- Fine China and sparkling crystal.
So get this. While we were enjoying the Rose Bowl Parade some people jumped out into the street and the cops bum rushed them. The parade had to stop. When they stood up I saw they were wearing black PETA shirts and they had Sea World text on them. These people were filled with their conviction on animal rights and were so committed to their cause that they were willing to get arrested. I could see the look of pride on their faces when they walked away in handcuffs. I get it. My struggle has been finding the balance where I don’t compromise my convictions but don’t go totally over the top with them either.
Do you have conviction? Do you compromise more than you want to?