Is Your Inner Circle Act Three Worthy?
Never underestimate the role of the people in your environment. The trajectory of our lives is defined by who we call our friends.
The late Neil Simon was a tremendously successful American playwright, screenwriter, and author. He wrote over thirty plays, received national acclaimed and had more combined Oscar and Tony Award nominations than any other writer. Simon was a reliable hitmaker in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights globally. However, Neil Simon also struggled to write plays. He was by trade a comedy writer and always had a few good lines to make people laugh. Writing a three-act play was another story and a more massive hurdle that holistically challenged him.
Simon spent three long years writing his first drama romance Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn. He labored over each page, would finish three acts and then realize, it was all garbage in his mind and start the creative process over again. Neil Simon had an epiphany when he realized that he was not creating characters that were intriguing enough for the audience to want to see what transpired in Act Three.
Character development is the cornerstone of any great book, play, or television show. Think about it. Why do we love certain movies, books, or shows? Because the characters fascinate us—good or bad when they're engaging with depth. Simon's characters needed more substance, development, complexity, authenticity, and vulnerability.
His play Come Blow Your Horn needed to build the momentum up to an Act Three worthiness, or else the audience would tune out and lose focus. So Neil Simon returned to the drawing board to enhance his characters in Act One. He added complexity and excitement to them while using humor to disguise their faults. Instantaneously, Simon started to produce hits.
The moral to the Neil Simon writing method is that we need to choose our friends in the same manner as he wrote. Step outside your comfort zone and discover interesting people that can engage, empower, inspire, and challenge you. We all need truth-tellers and Act Three worthy individuals in our inner circle. Never underestimate the role of the people in your environment. The trajectory of our lives is defined by who we call our friends.
You do not need to be rude to people, but you must remain keenly mindful of who you let into your inner circle. Our most valuable commodity is time. It is finite and precious. In the three-part docu-series, Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, Gates’ assistant tells the audience that the only thing Gates’ cannot buy is time. Therefore, he guards his time with sternness.
Each of us can implement Neil Simon's rule for writing plays into our daily life. One of the ways is to protect your time and energy by surrounding yourself with as many Act Three Worthy and extraordinary people as possible. Individuals who can help you tap into your unique and unlimited potential for greatness as a servant leader!
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