THE #1 THING THE OSCARS REMINDED ME TO DO - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert


February 24, 2015

OK, I’ll admit it. I didn’t commit an entire night to watching the Oscars. Instead, I met my mom for an early dinner at Chef Maneet Chauhan’s new Nashville eatery, Chauhan Ale and Masala House, where an Oscar-themed menu was served and the awards were projected on the walls of the beautifully chic dining room. Of course, you know I’m a foodie and I have a serious interest in Indian cuisine, so the Oscar part was just an excuse to get met there. 🙂

However, as my mom and I tried to guess who would win the Best Picture award so we could enter to win a private cooking lesson with Chef Chauhan, I realized something. As per usual I had only seen one movie that was nominated and I knew exactly why.

I think most movies suck.

Granted, it is hard to get me to sit still through two-hours of anything, but if I am going to sit still for that long, it better be edifying.


verb ed·i·fy

To teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character.

We have so many options to consume information and entertainment. In fact, we are bombarded with it all.

That is why I find it so important to be very cautious about what movies I watch. Most movies I find totally irrelevant to what I want in my own life and a distraction from the personal environment I use such intention to create.

I want an amazing business. I want an extraordinary personal life.

If ANYTHING I watch has the potential to rent headspace long term, it better be good and better help me maintain those aspirations.

But this concept doesn’t just apply to movies. Nope. Thinking about how few movies I watched only reminded me that I needed to be careful about media in general if I want to continue to have a business and life that is special.

Now, I want to challenge you with the caveat that depending on where “here” is for you, these questions may or may not apply to you. Remember, everything has a season.

Magazines: What would it look like if you canceled your subscription to Cosmo and didn’t have a woman staring you in the face from your coffee table whose full-time job is to be beautiful and who still had a glam squad and Photoshop edit to get her cover-worthy?

I know, you intellectually know it’s all airbrushed, but what do you hear in the back of your mind when you are looking in the mirror, giving a presentation or talking to a man you are interested in? What about that magazine edifies you?

Websites: How much time do you spend visiting your competitors’ websites? How many email lists do you subscribe to in order to “see how they are doing it?”

How much time do you spend on Facebook living vicariously through someone else’s posts? How many things did you never even know you needed until you logged on to Pinterest for the day?

If visiting these sites is edifying…if it motivates you, inspires you or teaches you, great. If you get a strong case of Comparisonitis, maybe it’s time to just focus on your own awesomeness for a while. 🙂

Movies: How would you feel about your real relationship and how many wonderful things your significant other brings to your life if you weren’t busy watching chick flicks that showcased the leading man as perfectly sensitive and in tune with all the needs of women?

Or how would you look at your girlfriend or wife differently if you weren’t feeding your mind with overly sexualized women who have no greater role in the film than to look hot and speak a few lines?

Do those type of movies edify you in your current circumstances? Carry on. If you’re at a tough point in your relationship, maybe you should watch something that doesn’t make your partner appear “less than” to you.

Crazy thought. I know. It’s just an example…not that I EVER see this happening…

Music: How would your mood change after a lost job, breakup or financial disaster if you listened to upbeat music with positive lyrics instead of indulging yourself with depressing, melancholic tunes? Would your productivity improve at work? Could you possibly come up with a plan to pull yourself out of it?

TV: And finally, what would your family life look like if you weren’t collectively consuming shows that model disrespectful, antagonistic marriages and bratty, problematic children? Do your shows edify your family life?

And before you look at me like I’m a nun, let me be clear: I understand that sometimes we are just looking for entertainment or perhaps a mental escape. I’m not judging anyone, lest my glass house that features Dance Moms be judged. 🙂

If Depeche Mode was your jam in high school or Mob Wives makes you laugh uncontrollably, go for it.

I’m not suggesting you turn into a prude, get all religious or stop having fun.

I’m just saying that when you look at the life that you want to have, it is a wise thing to see what you are allowing into your environment as you aspire for that life.

It’s just another way to be intentional. And if you are receiving emails from me I am certain that having an intentional, abundant and passionate career and life is a top priority for you.

Did I stir the pot? Strike a nerve? Do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know! I’d love to see the world through your lense. 🙂


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