I’ve been thinking about writing this article for some time now for many reasons. First, there is enough examples of people with low levels of humility and those with a fairly good amount.
In many cases it’s safe to say that people lose their humility as they go forward in their careers and all these little successes seem to boost their ego.
What does Humility mean? Humility means being humble. That at any level in your career whether a newbie filmmaker or on the level of Steven Spielberg, a high level of humility means you will listen to anyone that gives you advice and then decide if it’s valid or not.
A low level of Humility means you are so narcissistics about what you do that you listen to no one, are always, bragging, and block out any to all advice given to you.
My first example is a low level of humility. One of the events during my first semester with the Center for Communication was a talk with The Director of the Saturday Night Live Shorts, Mr. Rhys Thomas. When asked how to get to his place, one of the things he mentioned was the low level of humility people have and how it dents their success. He mentioned some interns who think they are “top shit” because they’ve made one or two short films. That their arrogance has cost them a callback. Why? because other people can replace you and if you are in a level where you are considered the newbie and still learning, you must not have this low level of humility.
That’s not to say you should know what you are doing, but to deny advice from someone who is obviously way ahead of you in knowledge and in a career aspect is a fatal mistake.
One great tool I learned is to always have a high level of Humility. Why? Because you never know when someone else’s advice is the one golden nugget you need to really help your project become complete. If an 8-year-old filmmaker walks past me in the park while I’m filming something and he gives a little piece of advice, I listen, evaluate it, and decide if it’s valid or not. If it is, I apply it. I’m not going to be narcissistic for any reason and be like “teh, what does this little kid know about filmmaking, I’m not going to listen to him.”
I’m being serious, it’s not me trying to make myself look good here. It has already happened it was just a new student in a film program.
Another example of high levels of humility from the life of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart.
First, it’s smart to put aside all the radical beliefs about Wal-mart and their business. I quickly want to touch upon a lesson we can learn from a man worth billions. Wal-Mart was already all across the nation when Mr.Walton was approached by supermarkets owners from Brazil. They flew over to Sam’s home and had dinner.
Who do you think asked the most questions? The Newbie Supermarket owners or Sam Walton the Multi-Billionaire?
Sam Walton did. His belief was “what if these gentlemen know something that could benefit my business”. If we could wrap our heads around that for a second, it’s very intriguing and smart. These men flew across the top of south America, past central and the gulf of Mexico to interview SAM but SAM interviewed them!
There is a strange ego that comes up in filmmakers in other programs across the city. Filmmakers who may have more “school” years under their belt. the seniors in a film school may look down upon the freshmen. Which I think is wrong, instead of creating a mental divide, why not collaborate?
But there is one thing that I’ve noticed as I listen to people give me advise on what I should do and that is; everyone has different taste. Sometimes their advice is biased to what they like and the final decision rests upon you as the filmmaker/writer/rapper/comedian/photographer.
But it is important to always listen to what it is people are saying, approach advice with open ears. Seek consultation and advice from those ahead of you in their careers and those just starting out plus those people who are on your level.
It just reminds me that there have been more than 1000 people visit my site and only 5 have signed up for that free gift I give out. Is it the insecurity of giving out your email or low level of humility? That’s why I changed it to tips from the very successful screenwriting consultant Micahel Hauge because it’s something I learned from reading his book, and in reality I think those tips in there are so valuable that maybe people should just buy the book and get it themselves. But I’m a nice guy so I’ll just let sit there for those that do want it.
You will be better off with high levels of Humility.
Till next time!