Last weekend I experienced a real highlight at the EY National Entrepreneur of the Year Event. As part of that event, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Opie Taylor … or better known today as Ron Howard (Opie of The Andy Griffith Show, Richie Cunningham of Happy Days, Director of Apollo 13 and Beautiful Mind, Academy Award Winner, etc.) My time with him confirmed my belief that he represents one of the finest persons humanity has to offer … kind, humble, authentic, curious, wise, REAL … not ruined by his fame, but possibly even made better for it.One of the many things he mentioned that really gave me moment to pause was that he didn’t strive to make his actors comfortable on set (because so often his movies demand a lot from the actors), but he did work hard to make it worth it to them. That statement floored me… Not always comfortable, but worth it.Ron Howard’s testimonial goes against everything popular culture is telling us. You need this nicer house, these more luxurious features in the latest car design, jobs with more benefits, vacations, compensation, etc. All of those are all good and well, but what if we weren’t designed for comfort, but designed to be a part of something that is worth it. The filming of great movies like Apollo 13 were not easy! A lot of the actors were challenged and pushed outside of their comfort zones to get the right shots – capturing the moments and emotions of the scenes so that the realness and weight of the story could really sink in for the viewers. How amazing was it though to be a part of the movie Apollo 13?! That movie has become a classic! What would be missing from that movie if Ron Howard’s goal had been for the comfort of his actors and team instead of his focus being on all their hard work being WORTH IT!
We are so easily distracted by comfort, and it just made me wonder if we often times miss the point: living in the struggle, doing the hard things, not shying away from the back-breaking work and the lack of comfort, because we know that the meaningful results far outweigh the sacrifices it took us to get there.
At the end of my days I don’t want to look back on my life and think, “well, it was comfortable.” What kind of story is that?! I want to look back on my life and see all I overcame and worked for and be able to say “it was worth it.”
For me, Ron Howard was able to bring it full circle. It was one of the greatest blessings that I hope to never forget – the privilege of having real conversation with Opie, a child who impacted me and grew into a man who continues to understand what matters: that life isn’t always comfortable and painless, but it can be worth it!