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The Secret Ingredient.

Innovative people help to drive me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an event at the Museum of Moving Images, here in Astoria, Queens (where I've recently joined the museum as a member). I'm a junkie when it comes to movies and movie history- with a repertoire filled with random facts- and I immediately felt like it was a haven built just for me.

I will admit, the thing that has drawn me to the museum is a new exhibit set to open early next year. The museum is in the processes of opening a new exhibit based on the life and work of the great Jim Henson, and until its opening, the museum is hosting events in honor of the legend and his work.

About two weeks ago, I attended one of these events, centered around the 80's television show by Jim Henson, called Fraggle Rock. I watched the show as a kid, and may even own a few episodes, now as a grown man in my mid-twenties. The guest list included a long-time puppeteer with the Jim Henson Company and a concept designer for the show, as well as, many other Henson works.

I sat in a small auditorium, with other long-time fans, as we listened to the two professionals talk about the history of filming the show. They talked about the lessons learned throughout it, the behind the scenes moments, and divulged the show's magic secrets. It was great to hear the excitement in their voices as they talked about something that had been so impactful to them and their lives, and something that, until that day, they were still passionate about.

At the end of the lecture, the floor was opened for a Q&A moment. Many questions were asked about budgets, puppeteering techniques, voice overs, filming locations, etc. However, one guest asked a question that stuck out to me, and caused me to step back for a moment in deep thought. The audience member spoke up and said loudly to the speakers at the front...

"Many shows have come and gone since Fraggle Rock, and have not stood the test of time like it has. What do you think made the show different from others and made it such a success?"

The guest speakers said the answer was simple. They had Jim.

There was no secret, no hidden answer to the question. It wasn't something you could just go buy to make your own show better. The answer to the question was simple. A man was passionate about what he did, he took chances, he took risks, and he dreamt big. He wanted excellence in his work, and found the right people to come alongside of him in that dream, to help him execute it.

I thought about this question and its answer for a while, and I devised a few thoughts.

1. There are things in life that can't be bought.

2. More importantly, there are talents that you have that others do not. They can't find these in on a supermarket shelf or along the pages of a self-help book.

3. There are gifts that you were born with, that you cultivated, and that you are in charge of using to better this world.

Just like Jim Henson, whose name still lives on 25 years after his death, there are things instilled in you. Things that only you can bring to the table. And It's your job to find those things- and DO SOMETHING with them.

Somewhere in the world, there is a recipe... and it's waiting for success. YOU, my friend, are the secret ingredient.

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