The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

The Things That You Do To Get What You Want

I was watching this movie On Demand last night, While We’re Young. Certainly, not a great movie but, in brief, it featured Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Adam Driver in one of his first leading roles. Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys was good in it. Anyway, the movie was about this guy, Driver, who conned his way into meeting the right people so he could step to the front of the feature-film Documentary Game. He lied, played people, stealthfully moved in the right circles, and stepped over people, all so that he could propel himself to the top. He made it while Stiller’s character, who he used in his ascension, did not. As I said last night, as I was watching the film, “Welcome to Hollywood.”

In truth, I really don’t like to watch films where people are hurt, lied to, or played. Oftentimes, I turn them off or just go to bed. But, I let this one play out, as it wasn’t really fully clear what was happening until nearer the end. But, think about life, think about the things that people do, think about what you have done to get what you want and to get to where you wanted to be… Most people are more than willing to do what they have to do: lie, cheat, do whatever if they are seeking some thing or some plateau? Though most do what they do and still don’t get to where they want to be, those who do are more often than not untruthful in getting to their ultimate achievement.

Having been in the Film Game for over thirty years, I cannot tell how much deception I have witness and even (in my early days) fallen prey to. Some of it has been small things. Others, I have really gotten fucked and witnessed other people really getting fucked. I have also watched as others have done what they have done to get to where they want to be. And, the ones who gain any significance did so by stepping on and/or over others to get there. Though, they will, of course, deny this fact.

Even for me, a very small player in the game, there have been people who have come at me wanting something. I’m sure I have told this story before but there used be this thrift store I went into every now and then. Virtually every time I was in there, this one guy, who had taken one of my classes, would show up a few minutes later. Obviously, he lived near by and this one employee would call him. He wanted to be in one of my films. Good guy! I liked him. And, I eventually used him and he did a great job. But, that was just one person helping out another. He wanted something from me and I had something to offer.

Certainly, when I used to frequently teach classes and seminars, back in the early 2000s, people would show up all he time, to my classes, wanting to be in one (or more) of my films. That was fine. One hand washing the other. I was making movies; I needed a cast and crew, and they wanted to be in a film that was actually going to get made. All good!

But, there is a whole other side of this. There are the people who are out there who don’t care who they fuck over to get where they want to be. They lie, they cheat, they take what isn’t theirs, and then they commonly badmouth the people who they have fucked over. I have witnesses so much stuff!

But now, let’s take this to you… What have you done to achieve what you have wanted to achieve? Who have you hurt in your taking and your getting? What have you said, what have you done, who have you lied to, and who have you stolen from? But, the bigger question is, did you truly care about whom you were taking what from and what your taking did to that person as you were taking? Or, were you only thinking about yourself?

I speak and write a lot about the goodness in people. I speak and write a lot about their potential goodness. I also speak and write a lot about the shit that people do and have the potential to do. Where do you find yourself in this process? Where do you find yourself in life? What are you willing to do to get what you want? And, how you have affected others in that process? Mostly, do you care?

The fact of the fact is, most people lie to themselves. The fact is, most people will do whatever it takes, stepping on and over whomever, to get what they want. Though many/most will deny this fact to the end. Though they will lie to others about what they have done and how they got to where they got, that does not change
their truth—that does not change the truth.

As all life begins with you—again, in the spectrum of your achievement(s), what have you done and whom have you done it to, to get what you have wanted?

If you can’t answer that question, if you won’t answer that question, you do not know yourself. If you do not know yourself—if you are not honest with yourself, what are you ultimately left with? If you make excuses to yourself and to others about what you have or have not done, who and what does that make you? Answer, a liar.

Once you have answered that question, and if you found that you have hurt, lied to, or damaged the life of someone else in your ascension, what are you willing to do to repair or fix that damage? Are you willing to do anything?

The one thing that I have witnessed, via the Film Game, is that those who hurt people on their climb to the top; have all fallen. Which means, yes they may have reached the top of their game, but as they did it by hurting, taking from, and/or lying to or about others, they each eventually fell and they fell hard. Though when I was on the bad end of those deals, I questioned this fact, I did come to witness that there is karma. Though they/though you may not feel it right now, if you did bad deeds on your climb upwards, there will be consequences.

So, where does this leave us in life? It leaves us with the universal truth; hurt no one. Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t deceive. If you hope to live a good life; if you hope to be remembered fondly, if you want your ultimate legacy to be a positive one, care about the people you interact with. Even if they can help you—if you want them to help you on your climb to the top: always be truthful, always be positive, never take what is not yours, give credit where credit is due, and share the wealth.

Good is always better than bad. And, though bad may be the most common form of practice in one’s escalation to the top of the ranks, that never makes it right.