The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

All That Jazz

In 1979 I saw the film “All
That Jazz” for the first time. 
 I sat in the movie theater
watching “Joe Gideon”, Bob
Fosse’s alter ego, destroying
 himself in the name of sex,
 drugs, and musical theater. 
On the way home, I had
 much to think of.  Fosse
had done me a fantastic favor.
 Somehow, he had touched my heart, communicated with me in a
 way no one else had.  A core
paradox had been laid out
with surgical simplicity:

1) To achieve your full potential
requires monomaniacal focus.

2) Monomaniacal focus
creates imbalance.

3) Imbalance leads to skewed
 values: Gideon was a man
turned inside-out, putting
his priorities on the very
things most likely to destroy him.

4) Premature self-destruction
prevents you from reaching
your full potential.

I don’t know about anyone
else, but that movie was a
 wake-up call on a massive,
soul-shaking level.  I was
determined to be the absolute
 best I could be, and the
path I saw to it was so rife
with peril that it was obvious
I’d be riding  a unicycle over
 a pool of sharks.   I puzzled
over this one for days, and
finally came to a life-changing
 conclusion: the safest thing
to be obsessive about was
BALANCE.  I would care
equally about all three basic
 aspects of my life: body,
mind, and emotions.  Then…
let the chips fall where they may.
I was twenty-seven years
old when I saw “All That
Jazz.”   Thinking about it
as deeply as possible,
whereas I’ve read books
and seen films that taught
me interesting things about
the world, works of fiction
stopped changing me on
any deep level at that point.
 NON-fiction continued to
 do so strongly until my
40’s, and from time to time
 I still get a little “bump”
from some piece of philosophy
 or physics or history.

But fiction?   No.  

On that level, stick a
fork in me, I’m done.  
I hear people speaking
 of fiction, books or films
or plays, that shakes them
 and changes their world
view or transforms them.
 I was wondering…what
was the last (or most recent)
 work that changed you, and
 how old were you when
that happened?

If YOU want to reach your
maximum without the risk
of destroying yourself, I
 suggest the same approach
 to balance.

The “101 Program” teaches
 this, as do all of my other
offerings.  But the crown
of it all is personal coaching,
 which is available on a
very, very limited basis only
 to those who are totally
committed.  I don’t want to
waste your time,  and I won’t
 let you waste mine.  Make
 no mistake—when we
talk for 30-60 minutes a
week, phone or Skype,
miracles can and do happen.

If you’re ready to take
your game to the next level,
I would suggest going to
and checking out the
terms required to work
with me personally.    I
recently had two positions
 open up in my coaching
schedule (I have to limit
 the number of people,
or I won’t have time for
my own work!)

If you have the passion
for change and are prepared
 to invest in yourself, drop
me a line, and we’ll have
a conversation about

Love, health, success. 
And all that jazz.


No comments: