One of my best friends, Anthony, recently saw Jim Carrey's latest movie Yes Man.
He loved it.
He read that when the film was being taped, Carrey was "so into it, he broke four of his ribs." In the acting world, we call that being fully committed to a role.
Carrey's generosity was the key to the movie being funny and Jim finally being Jim again (after several lack luster movies). By now, his ribs have healed, and critics are lauding his work in the movie. Later, I saw the film too, and understand Anthony's point. Carrey let the role be bigger than the actor. He lost himself in an opportunity. He gave himself to his work. Nothing short of that will produce a breakthrough performance in life, on screen or on any stage.
It made me wonder: Am I into what I'm doing enough to break four ribs? Am I fully committed — or just mildly involved? That's a tough question for all of us. If you want to improve your performance in any role (work, home, stage, play), you need to lose yourself into the activity and make it bigger than you. When you do this, your essence comes out and you viscerally connect with everyone that matters (customers, co-workers, audience, etc.)
In my first book, Love Is The Killer App, I argued that we need to be ham instead of eggs in our business life. There's a big difference: The chicken is involved and the pig is fully committed.