Daily Archives: August 9, 2010

Woody Allen and the secret of success

The secret of success, I think, is well summed up by Woody Allen in this quote taken from an interview of Woody Allen on Stardust Memories:

I make so many films, that I don’t care about individual successes and failures. I made Interiors and I made Stardust Memories, and before they came out I was working on something else. The film could be a big hit like Manhattan or Hannah, to me it doesn’t matter. I’ve tried very hard to make my films into a non-event. I just want to work, that’s all. Just put the film out for people to see, just keep grinding them out. I hope I’ll have a long and healthy life, that I can keep working all the time, and that I can look back in old age and say, ‘I made fifty movies and some of them were excellent and some of them were not so good and some were funny…’ I just don’t want to get into that situation that so many of my contemporaries are in, where they make one film every few years and it’s a Big Event. That’s why I’ve always admired Bergman. He’d be working quietly on the island and would make a little tiny film and put it out, and then he’d be working on the next one. You know, the work was important. Not the eventual success or failure, the money or the critical reception. What’s important is that your work is part of your daily life and you can lice decently. You can , as in my case, do the other things I want to do at the same time. I like to play music, I like to see my children, I like to go to restaurants, I like to take walks and watch sports and things. When you’re working at the same time, you have a nice, integrated life.

This nicely incorporates a number of guidelines to success that I’ve heard in the past, such as:

  • make the journey (in this case, “work”) and not just the destination equal the reward
  • if you create alot, you will have more successes overall, and your failure won’t matter as much
  • success is ultimately about have a rich life, not achieving one particular thing

Thanks to the blog Letter to Jane for this.