Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn is well known for sharing information on his process with fans. Recently, he and Vin Diesel shared some special moments in the editing room but the director also decided to get a bit more personal and give career and happiness advice.
Marvel's Guardians sequel has wrapped but Gunn has taken some time out of post-production to speak to fans about Comic-Con, comment on the success of Suicide Squad and the ridiculously controversial Spider-Man: Homecoming casting. This past week he shared something extra cool – the “Groot” version of the script which only he and Vin Diesel have access to:
Diesel also joined Gunn on Facebook live moments after watching an extended clip from Guardians Vol. 2. And he almost couldn't form words.
But Gunn also took time this week to talk about something non-Guardians, yet career related. On his Facebook he described having met almost no one in his life who was both very successful in their chosen career and also happy at the same time. It's slightly bittersweet.
I attribute this to, simply, that extraordinarily successful people are almost always extraordinarily obsessive about their careers and they've spent the vast majority of their lives working on their jobs and not on being happy. But being happy – being healthy mentally, physically, and in relationship with others – also requires a lot of commitment, time, and vigilance. Not to mention that bottomless ambition is often rooted in the notion that there is something wrong with ourselves to begin with, something we are trying to “fix”. In all truth, I think it's rare, if not impossible, to truly have both. Perhaps this is what Matthew meant in the Bible when he said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Why am I saying all this? Well, primarily because I was just sitting here thinking it and on a whim I'm writing it down. But also because I know so many young people read this page who are beginning their lives and careers. They're setting their goals for what they want to do and who they want to be. And I think it's important to remember all aspects of life, both the internal and external, when starting on their journeys. Very few things come without sacrifice.
There were lots of “thank yous” to be had in the comments that followed with just a few disagreeing with the advice he had to offer. The director summed up his thoughts by replying, “I prescribed no actions other than being aware of our own choices.” I don't think anyone could argue with that advice.