I Am…What’s Wrong with the World? “Tom Shadyack”

April 21, 2011 at 09:39 (Ethics, Health & Wellness, Money & Finance, Relationships, Women Empowerment, Your Bottom line)

Tom Shadyack, the director of the provocative documentary, “I Am,” explores what happened to “civilisation” as we know it. We had an opportunity to screen this film back in March. The film resonated with all of us as we continue our journey for more “altruistic” ventures. He was on Oprah yesterday with an epiphany that changed his life forever, as it did ours in 2003.

Tom Shadyack is no stranger to filmmaking or Hollywood. He has turned out comedic hits as “Bruce Almighty” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” starring Jim Carrey and “The Nutty Professor” starring Eddie Murphy. He averaged about $8M per film with points for box office receipts. At one time he owned three (3) sizable “mansions,” flew on private jets and lived by any standard, an “extraordinary life.” He gave it all up for a more “happier life” a “double wide” and a bike and; as he stated, “the less weight I had the happier I became.”

His “ground-breaking” new film explores his own journey to discover where did civilisation get it wrong? Whilst the film does not condemn life as we know it, it questions where society sets “priorities,” and the notion that “more” will make us any happier, or that we are hard wired for competition. On the contrary, we are “hard wired” for “collabouration.”

In 2003, we made the decision, as a collective, to downsize out of economic necessity. We were once again “Going to war.” One cannot live on just a military salary, alone. We also made a conscious and ethical decision not to take our usual Board of Directors stipends whilst on deployment. In the years since, just like Tom Shadyack, we, as a collective, became happier with less weight and; realised that we did not miss the “management of “stuff” nor the “stuffy” and “pretentious” world we were once part of.

To be clear, being part of “high society” is not stuffy at all, but the trappings of which others see as being important was. We also realised in our unique personal journeys, that the people we associated with were MORE important than those things that defined our status in life. Whilst we were products of good stock and education; associated, some would say, with a “privileged” life, we never let that which was afforded to us “go to our heads.” We were able to put things into perspective, select the friends who made us whole, be part of a team that made us thrive and seek out projects that gave us the opportunities to achieve.

A reporter who interviewed us during our pre-deployment once asked if it was “easy” to give up most everything we owned. Our ownership extended to properties, cars, lucrative stipend and luxury items including memberships at exclusive clubs and a private jet. Absolutely! When you are on the front line, your priorities are totally shifted to “What is really important in life.”

Today, we are still lean, and still don’t miss “all that.” With that said, we did not have to compromise our love of travel, entertainment and joys of life. Matter in fact giving up the other “weight” afforded us greater freedom to play. Tom Shadyack stated that when he told people he worked 18 hours, he received “positive” feedbacks, until he stated he played about four hours a day…to blank stares! No wonder people are stressed out and unhappy! We love the blank stares…so bring it on!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

© 2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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3 Comments

  1. CeeCee said,

    Beautifully said! I saw his documentary a few weeks ago and found my self making some changes. Thank you for your service.

  2. Bethany Marks said,

    I know Tom and he is a good man, very giving even when he had the millions, the houses, cars and plane. He is a great humanitarian. I was a Deb, part of the Cotillion, so I understand what you refer to as the social trappings. As I was reading some of your background, I think we might have met. I will email you off line.

  3. Joe E. said,

    Yeah, I agree less is more. I owned lots of properties in Florida and California, the 2 biggest slumps in the economy and lost everything since I was under water with those properties. I had to accept any tenant that could pay which was bad because they were not the best tenants. 3 or my properties got trashed. I can’t sleep and got a divorce last year. Its bad stuff. Your article makes sense and we should look into reducing our dependency on materialistic things otherwise can give you a bad headache.

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