If you’ll notice the date when this post was published, you’ll realize that it was written 7 years ago – long before any allegations between Johnny Depp and his current wife. I’m not here to weigh in on what happened or didn’t happen – only those involved know for sure. I just wanted to point out the obvious – this was written long before any of this horrific news came out. – Joi
Here comes a blatant case of stepping behind the wheel of someone else’s post and driving off with it – in a different direction, no less.
What makes Johnny Depp such a spectacular success? Are there things we can bring to our own lives that’ll bring us similar degrees of success?
Obviously, since I’m writing this post, I firmly believe the answer to the second question is “Definitely!” The answer to the first question? “He’s Johnny Depp.”
I admit it, I’m a movie fanatic – as big a movie fanatic as you’ll ever meet. Furthermore, Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors. In fact, if I had to get my favorites down to just one, Mr. Depp would stand alone – dressed, no doubt, in an outrageous costume. I’m okay with that. So, I could go on forever and a day about the Depp. However, I’ll try to be as brief as my southern heritage permits.
What traits attribute to Johnny Depp’s success and could contribute just as beautifully to our own?
- I M A G I N A T I O N. When it comes to imagination, Johnny Depp is freaking eat up with the stuff. When he signed on to be Captain Jack Sparrow, the role was intended to be serious (hard to believe, right?). However, Mr. Depp saw something else – something no one else saw. He saw the potential for the most outrageous, outlandish, deliciously entertaining character to ever sashay across the screen. He doesn’t put any restraints on his imagination or set any limits.
- B O L D N E S S. I suspect that Johnny Depp has raised more than a few director’s eyebrows with his interpretation of a character, Captain Jack Sparrow included. Yet he doesn’t let anyone else’s interpretation interfere with his own. It takes “to the wall” boldness to launch off in your own direction – especially when everyone else is looking in a completely different direction.
- A U D A C I O U S N E S S. When I think of the things that make Johnny Depp a success, one of the first things that comes to mind is this: He takes roles that no actor in his right mind would ever touch. Willy Wonka, The Mad Hatter, Edward Scissorhands, a murderous barber with a penchant for breaking out in song (Sweeney Todd). There’s a crazy boldness and confidence about Johnny Depp and, personally, I think that separates him from just about all other actors. (Robert Downey, Jr and Jamie Foxx are right up there, though. Sadly, Heath Ledger had just moved to the head of the class, too, when he died.)
Now, on to the good stuff. How can we take these threads and weave them into our own lives?
I M A G I N A T I O N.
I lack many positive traits, but one that I am all over is imagination. Mine runs overtime, actually. If I were to sit down and give myself 2 hours to think of an idea for a blog or web site, I would have 42 inside of an hour. Everyone has strong areas and this just so happens to be my strongest one – few can hold a candle to me when I swing the pendulem of my imagination! Truthfully, I think it could have something to do with the fact that I was an only child. I spent the early part of my life being completely entertained by my imagination – I delighted in creating stories, personalities and names for dolls, stuffed animals, and so on.
I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face. – Johnny Depp
If imagination isn’t one of your strong points, or if you’d simply like it to be even stronger, here’s a suggestion. Set aside 30 minutes each day for “Mind Stretching.” Grab a pen and paper and find a completely quiet spot, one with as few distractions as possible. Once there, the next step is simple: Get lost in your own web of thoughts. Think of Johnny Depp. Remember, we said above that he sets no limits or restraints on his imagination. Do thusly. Concentrate on any problems or situations that you want to achieve more success in. Let your mind run wildly through solutions and ideas. Don’t hold your thoughts back, let them be as wild as they want to be!
Make a habit of doing this each day. Some days you may only have 15 minutes to spend with your imagination, that’s fine. I guarantee you that something remarkable will happen: The imaginative part of your brain will think of these sessions the same way my cat, Alexa, thinks of playtime. She knows the times during the day when it’s time to head to the floor and bat toy mice and plastic balls around for all they’re worth.
Your brain will delight in the increased activity and will “step up” in ways you never dreamed possible. The brain is an amazing thing – it not only knows when it has been given center stage, it also knows how long it has to perform. And perform it will!
B O L D N E S S
Probably the one thing that holds most of us back is a lack of boldness. We aren’t sure what exactly will happen “out there” and don’t know if we’ll be able to land on our feet. Boldness is one of those things that tends to get easier with use, but those of us who lack boldness don’t want to use it often enough to find out.
Something that I often have to remind myself of is this: If you never step out of your comfort zone, the view never, ever changes.
Sometimes we just have to throw caution to the wind. I’ve found that more times than not, when we wade out, we find the water agreeably pleasant. Charles F. Kettering said, “Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.” We need to keep our mind open to bold new experiences.
A U D A C I O U S N E S S
When I was working on this post, I wrestled for a while with this word – Audaciousness. After all, my inner wordsmith argued, audaciousness is a distant cousin of boldness… a word I’d already used. In the end, I decided that while it could be considered a distant cousin – she was such a loud, colorful, and over-the-top cousin that I couldn’t leave her out.
If there’s any message to my work, it is ultimately that it’s OK to be different, that it’s good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color. – Johnny Depp
Besides, within her lies the secret ingredient. If coffee is bold – audaciousness is espresso. Audaciousness is boldness without boundaries, imagination without restraint, and originality without hesitation. Audaciousness is being brave and brazen enough to live your life out loud even if everyone around you is living their life in a manner that’s barely audible.
Audaciousness doesn’t make any apologies.
These are three of the things I think we can learn from Johnny Depp. Things that can bring us more success – however it is that we define it. If we combine imagination, boldness, and audaciousness, we’ll soon be living a life that’s fuller, richer, more rewarding, and a heck of a lot more fun.
If you catch me saying ‘I am a serious actor,’ I beg you to slap me. – Johnny Depp