Two very different Oscars

The hype on Leonardo di Caprio’s Oscar made most of us overlook another significant award. Ennio Moriconne got his first Oscar this year. After composing more than 520 soundtracks, including the monumental “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Le professionel”, “Once upon a time in the West” scores, he finally gets an Oscar, aged 87. Awful? Maybe not that much. Why? It gives us a valuable lesson on what being a professional really is.


Let me elaborate on that.

  1. Credentials

Awards, status, paraphernalia matter, but only to a limited extent. The criterion that really matters is your work. Given you are good enough, no one will bother to check even if you finished high school. In any pitch, focus on that.

2. Resilience

B.B. King once said good things come to those who wait. I would say that appreciation is not something that comes easily, nor does it always come based on efforts (think of the 80/20 ratio). External motivation should not be the driver of your efforts or you will inevitably fail. Easy roads lead mostly downhill, not uphill.

3. Trying too hard.

Leonardo DiCaprio has always want badly his Oscar. His movies were timed to be eligible for the Award and the public laughed at him. Ennio Morriconne has always been composing and, frankly, I was always sure he had an Oscar and never bothered to check. Trying too hard might make you look like a wannabe and might take you further from the goal you follow. It can lead to public shaming and negative emotions from those who observe you trying too hard. Dignity and a certain distance from looking praise inspires respect. Emulate that.