What Leo Winning an Oscar Teaches Us About Success

Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar last night.

After 6 Oscar nominations and countless times that he (arguably) should have won this esteemed award, he finally received the recognition he deserved.

And while we’ve never seen people celebrate another’s success much like the internet did last night, there’s a few things we can learn about success from Leo’s Oscar win:

1. Success doesn’t require a title

No one ever thought Leonardo DiCaprio was less of an actor for not winning an Oscar for his previous roles. And honestly, people still wouldn’t have doubted his success as an actor if he didn’t win last night (although, the world may have been in a tiny outrage..).

The point being: Leonardo DiCaprio is an unbelievably talented actor, who is successful and happy for far more reasons than what a gold statue will proclaim.

His success didn’t depend on the acclamation of the Academy. In fact, he’s one of the few actors who seems to find his success purely in his depth and commitment to the roles he plays. His passion for acting and incredible talent for bringing his characters to life is evident in every movie he has ever been in.

While he may not have taken home the title of Best Actor before last night, in many people’s eyes, he already was.

2. Success isn’t about winning prizes

There has been quite the outrage that Leo has never won an Oscar before. He’s undoubtably one of the most talented actors of our time, and yet he had never been “officially” recognized as the Best Actor by the Academy until last night.

And as much as everyone else thinks he’s been screwed out of a lot of Oscars, that’s not why he’s acting.

In fact, after a previous loss, Leo said, “I am really moved by all the people on the internet demanding that I should win an Oscar but to be honest, I only do this job because I love it, not to win prizes.”

Leonardo knows something that many of us should take to heart: real success means you are living out what you were created to do.

You can acquire as many awards or prizes as you want, but you’ll never find true success if you’re only doing it for the recognition. Instead, let’s focus on what makes us come alive and go do that instead.

Leonardo DiCaprio wins an Oscar

3. Success requires patience

While we believe Leonardo has been successful for far longer than his Oscar will account for, this much-deserved recognition took a long time to achieve. Most of the time, success doesn’t happen over night – and true success never will.

Finding your purpose and working hard at it requires patience. It requires commitment and it doesn’t come easy.

If we want to live our best lives and be successful – in whatever way that means to us – then we have to commit our lives to it. We have to give it our all, and we have to put our full selves out into the arena.

4. Success requires grit

Leonardo’s role in the Revenant was overflowing with grit, but we’re not saying you have to crawl your way out of a near-death situation to achieve this. We’re talking about perseverance – about sticking with your purpose when the going gets tough. Most things in life don’t come easy, especially success, and definitely happiness.

If we want to live our best lives, we need to learn to accept the failures along with the successes, and use them all as the fuel to keep pushing us forward.

5. Success requires community

Leonardo DiCaprio is a talented actor – there is no denying that. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the people he surrounds himself with. And after hearing his acceptance speech last night, we know he agrees. The first thing he did was praise and thank those who made the movie possible: the other actors, his director, the entire team.

We do not find success on our own. It takes a village. It takes support. It takes finding people who inspire and empower us to live out our full potential.

So instead of thinking we need to put others down to rise to the top, or that there is only a finite room at the table of success, we need to understand the importance of community.

This is one of the most important truths we’ve realized lately: We are who we surround ourselves with. However we define success, however we define happiness and joy and purpose, having the right people in our corner makes all the difference.


While Leo’s shiny new Oscar is certainly a huge milestone in his career, it’s encouraging to know that a prize, or lack thereof, never stood in the way of his success.

What does success mean to you?


Photo source: Abcnews

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