Angelina Jolie - Why Meaning Is At The Heart of Inspired Partnerships

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By Kris Deichler, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

What is it that makes for a successful and lasting partnership? It's a question many of us might be seeking an answer to when looking to build a long-term relationship. Building relationships that last can be challenging for anyone, especially when done on a professional basis. This is why there's definitely something to learn from director Angelina Jolie and Luong Ung, the Cambodian-born American, human rights activist's 10-year relationship. It has recently culminated in a joint film project released for Netflix, called First They Killed My Father.

The movie, which the two ladies co-wrote together, is the fictionalised retelling of Ms Ung's family experiences under the Khmer Rouge in the mid 1970s. It is the meaning behind this story that has bonded and inspired the two women in their work together. Ms Jolie speaks on how her adoption of her Cambodian born son, Maddox, inspired her career direction and relationship with Ms Ung, saying:

“It wasn't like, ‘What would make a cool movie?’ It was really, ‘What do I feel I want to spend years of my life on? What matters? What has affected me?’ It was very clear to me it was that book... And as Maddox [was] growing up, I really need him to understand [what happened] and felt the country hadn't been speaking about it. It's not as open and discussed as it should be.”

The questions that Ms Jolie asked herself in this quote are incredibly valuable to learn from because these are the kinds of questions that take us to the root of our motivation for anything in life. They are questions that have taken her to the heart of her value system, the things in life that have deepest emotional connection and meaning and, as many legendary people will testify, when we are in touch with such things our whys will overcome any how.

This means that when our reasons for something are deeply felt, we become highly committed, motivated and dedicated to our purpose. When we combine this in ourselves with others who resonate and feel the same values and depth of motivation as we do, it makes for a powerful connection and combination. You can read more on this in the LA Times here...

Wait! There's More...

Click here to read how finding meaning brought Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps back from the brink of suicide and rebuilt his relationship with his father...

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