Re-Invention, Re-Definition: A Follow Up

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I was asked jokingly after my previous post to give a quick real life example that fits the bill to further demonstrate what I meant about Re-Invention or Re-Defining one’s life or goals. Someone that really defined what I was trying to express. Not some obscure person in days gone by or that lived 1000 years ago. Rather, someone relevant today that I could point to.

Well, I had someone, and when I immediately blurted out their name the person who was having fun ribbing me (it was playful banter nothing more) seemingly was stunned as in – stopped in their tracks.

It seemed I hit the perfect person because they knew the name instantaneously when I said it. And, immediately grasped what I was trying to relate. The name? William Shatner aka Capt. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

I believe he is one of the best contemporary public figures to demonstrate re-invention or re-definition of a career. (He also has a place in Lexington, KY)

Mr. Shatner has played in roles so far back they’re only available in black and white format. (The Twilight Zone® Series for one example.) Then of course in his unforgettable portrayal as Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek® fame. However, his career didn’t stop there. Where many careers that become type cast are basically finished. He has not only continued to work in sitcoms, dramas, and movies since. He basically has re-invented himself where you no longer think of him as Capt. Kirk – first.

His television shows or series in just recent years such as: Shatner’s Raw Nerve – (The Biography Channel) and others are a complete re-invention and departure of anything he has done in the past. There are quite a few other roles he has played whether it be voice overs, and much, much, more. Acting and playing different roles is a sub set of what the man William Shatner has come to represent in the public eye.

He has changed so many times that I would dare to guess agents, friends, family, and anyone else within ear shot has probably told him: “Hey, you’re too famous as Kirk. That’s probably the best and last you’ll ever get.” Yet, look at Mr. Shatner’s career and accomplishments. Look how many times he must have said to himself, “Why not!” Then went ahead and did it. Knowing full well it could backfire.

Just what do you think everyone around him said when Priceline® came calling looking for him to play some form of cheesy all-knowing caricature of a spokesperson in television commercials? A spirit for re-invention and re-definition is what makes one say: “Sure why not!” And, it’s that spirit that moves one forward keeping life fresh and beating off the staleness that can creep in if not actively aware of ones goals, or allowing one’s pursuits to be abandoned because of neglect.

To top all this off. What’s also a driving factor of why I use Mr. Shatner is he is still as relevant. Still as commanding a presence in his field. And still willing to take on new roles all at the tender age of 82. Yes, 82!

So tell me again why you’re too old to change or think new things?

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr