“Every single time I start to do a picture, without fail, I feel as if I don’t know what I’m doing.”
– Tom Cruise
There are a lot of people who are not fans of Tom Cruise; either because of his outspoken comments about his chosen religion, or just plain old jealousy for his great amount of success. I, myself, don’t agree with all of his religious beliefs. That said, how he lives his life does not matter when it comes to making this statement: the man is a phenomenal actor and entertainer. I think most people would concur with me on that. It is difficult to argue against it, considering his 40-year career in films, as well as all the accolades he has received over the years. So, when I read the quote above as being attributed to him, I was surprised.
Imagine, someone who appears as confident as Tom Cruise does, feeling as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing “every single time” he starts working on a new film! That is astounding to me – until I realize something very important that has escaped me for most of my life: like everyone else on this earth, Tom Cruise is a human being. While insanely successful, he still doubts himself. And, as I type those words into this rambling about my high-school-crush, I realize another thing: That type of humility may be the very reason he is so successful.
It is that sort of humility that causes a person to step back from his own opinions and listen to others. It is that sort of humility that allows a person to receive direction and try things that may be outside his comfort zone. It is that sort of humility that brings a person to a place of openness that cannot exist in someone who thinks he has all the answers.
Next time I sit down to write, I need to remember Tom’s statement about his own work. Self-doubt is part of the deal, especially when it comes to creating art of any kind. It is what happens when we chose to continue working through self-doubt that makes the man (or woman)!
Happy Birthday, Tom Cruise, and thank you for entertaining me for the majority of my life; and now, for reminding me that even those who are seemingly self-assured throughout their entire lives still doubt.