Michael Keaton got it right. Tearfully accepting his Golden Globes award on Sunday night for best actor in a motion picture, he paid tribute to his family and upbringing.
He said, “In the household in which I was raised, the themes were pretty simple: work hard, don’t quit, be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful. Also to never whine, ever. Never complain. And always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humor.”
Keaton. who won the award for his gripping portrayal in “Birdman” of a washed-out actor who attempts a Broadway comeback, shared a glimpse of his early life, saying, “I don’t ever remember a time when my father didn’t work two jobs, when my mother wasn’t saying the rosary or going to Mass or trying to take care of seven kids in a rundown farmhouse as she was volunteering at the Ohio Valley hospital where I was born — in a hallway.”
And he added, “I’ve never seen the virtue in not being courageous in acting. It’s not like coal-miner bravery or Doctors-Without-Borders-going-into-Ebola-stricken-villages bravery. I mean, what’s gonna happen? People are going to laugh at you and make fun of you? Okay, fine. If that happens, I’ll go on to the next thing.”
I can totally relate to Keaton’s message. It’s not often that a Hollywood actor so passionately or so eloquently pays tribute to his upbringing. Those are values that I share. And the same kind of commitment is needed by any successful entrepreneur. It’s what separates the long-term winners from the losers.
Word hard. Don’t quit. Never whine. Don’t get complacent. Adapt to Change. And, always remember your ultimate prize.
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