Why It Pays to Work Hard Even When You're Not Rewarded for It

What we can all learn from Leonardo DiCaprio's first Oscar. 

By Henry Adeleye on March 4, 2016 


Unless you've been living under an actual rock, you probably heard the news of famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning his first Oscar.  After so long, and so many ridiculously good movie roles, he finally brought home gold.  Now, there are plenty of people who we'd be perfectly fine with never winning an Oscar, but the fact that he hadn't won one up until now was intriguing, to say the least.  It got to the point where I started feeling bad for him.  It was like he was Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, and the Oscar voting committee was Lucy pulling it away each and every time.  But after many disappointing awards shows and even more hilarious memes, that moment has come.  And like pretty much anything, there's a lot to learn from it.    


Work Hard 

Leo's career began at a very early age.  Coming from humble beginnings, he clung to acting as an escape.  His career began to take off, playing in movies like Titanic, Inception, and my all-time favorite, Wolf of Wall Street (don't judge).  His knack for getting great roles can only be attributed to the amount of work he dedicates to his craft.  He's been known to work very closely with his directors to achieve this level of perfection.  And it shows.    


Stay Humble 

There's humble, then there's Kanye.  You can probably guess what end of the spectrum Leo falls under.  Through his many Oscar defeats by people he's arguably more talented than, he's remained humble and focused.  Instead of throwing a fit like when Kanye lost that Grammy (actually, he wasn't even the one who lost), he  bounces back and moves on to his next project, diving in with both feet.  He never lets a little statue slow him down.       


Give Back 

It's well-known that, along with eating kale soup and vegan chili, DiCaprio is very concerned with the environment and saving the polar bear.  His foundation has awarded over $45M in grants to help support this cause.  And he often gives lectures on climate change.  It's no coincidence then that the movie he won the Oscar for was related to this concern.  It shows how charity always comes back full circle.   


Recognition Eventually Comes 

Once you do all these things, the recognition always comes eventually.  You should never seek it or even be motivated by it.  But the way the universe works, it just comes.  Awards should never be the end goal (Never dwell on your failures, but even more, never dwell on your successes).  But there's no doubt that recognition just makes you feel better.  So, always stay hungry.  Never get complacent.  And keep making your life a movie worth watching.