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Escaping the Jaws of Failure

While watching A&E this morning a show came on called “Inside Story: Jaws” it’s a 2 hour documentary about the making of the 1975 summer blockbuster movie “Jaws”.  For those unfamiliar with the channel A&E, it stands for “The Arts and Entertainment Network”

“Jaws” is a horror/drama/thriller about a 25 foot great white shark that terrorizes a small island community during the height of their summer tourist season.

The movie was given to a very young and not so famous yet director named Steven Spielberg. He was given a very limited budget with a time frame of only 2 months to complete.

Once the filming started things were going along fairly smoothly, until the 25 foot shark was introduced. Now back in 1975 special effects were fairly rudimentary, so to get a 25 foot mechanical shark to look un-mechanical was a challenge to say the least.

With a mechanical shark that worked sporadically, the unpredictable Atlantic weather and sea conditions, and the inability to shoot some scenes, the days started to turn to weeks and the weeks into months. The movie moguls in Tinsel Town were getting ready to pull the plug.

Mr. Spielberg was under the constant threat of losing his job and jeopardizing any future he might still have in Hollywood. But instead of letting the pressure sway him or listening to the naysayers, he decided to make some lemonade out of their lemons.

They went to work re-writing the script around what they could do, not what they couldn’t do, they filmed what they could, when they could, and to create the distinct feeling of a killer shark they used a great musical score that gave us a sense that something evil was lurking just below the water.

In sticking with his conviction and his intrinsic belief that failure was not an option, “Jaws” went on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time (470 million dollars), it also won 3 Oscars. The musical score is still recognized worldwide as the theme song for sharks, as for Mr. Spielberg career, it speaks for itself.

How many times in our lives are we faced with minor adversity and setbacks?  I’m guessing, for most of us, daily.

We start an exercise or martial arts program only to quit once we hit the dip, when that familiarity sets in and the novelty wears off. Or worse yet we walk away from something, just before we climb out of the dip, and miss that chance for true greatness.

So why is it that some of us are so quick to throw in the towel and walk away?

Looking at  successful people like Mr. Spielberg it’s easy to see why they succeed…

They don’t own a towel.

By: Master Tim Bell