Tony Scott’s Final Gift
The film industry lost several legends this last week.
Yet it was Director Tony Scott’s decision to return to the Spirit World that sent a shockwave through us.
His death, so unexplained, so obviously self-determined, hit a vulnerable spot in each of us.
Why would someone who was so successful, end his life early?
That’s the first question that registered. It’s a superficial one. It judges – erroneously – that the body of work is a reflection of the whole spirit. Artists are so intimately entwined in our work that we fail to remember that our work is not us. We are not our work. Our work is an expression of part of our spirit.
But only a part.
Most of us only knew Mr. Scott through the finished product of his work. We assume – and far too easily – that he had everything that would constitute the fabric of happiness and well-being. That he had achieved success.
We base that on the assumption that our definition of success is how Mr. Scott defined it.
We may be wrong.
There is a cultural, external definition of success and there is a personal value- and fear-based definition of success. The world gives us the first, we give us the last. And that spot of vulnerability in each of us recognizes that unless we are meeting our personal definition of success, it doesn’t matter how much external success we achieve.
Because we won’t feel it.
Our values and our fear and what we believe about ourselves determine how much we feel and believe in our external success. We can meet the external definition time and again, but if it is not the same definition of success that we hold for ourselves – it won’t create the fabric of our happiness.
That’s what scared us most when we heard that Mr. Scott jumped from a bridge.
We saw in that flash of news a reflection in the mirror. What if what we’re pursuing really isn’t what matters to us?
What if all this success that we’re after, all this climbing up ladders and walls and mountains and cliffs, is going to lead us to jump off a bridge at 68 years of age?
What if we’re getting it wrong?
That’s the fear that met us on Monday. A fear we each need to address. Because our lives are NOW. What we are doing now is what is weaving the fabric of our happiness – or not. And no external definition of success can change that. We’re each responsible for defining what success in this lifetime means to us.
We don’t know why Mr. Scott chose to leave it all behind at this point in his life. We don’t know what pain, what fear, what disappointment, what wound, what thoughts, what alternative future led him to return to the Spirit World. His reasons remain his.
What we can do is take the gift of his life and honor it by making decisions today that align with what really matters to us.
We can let that be Tony Scott’s final gift to us.