What We Can Learn from Ellen DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscars

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There were a lot of noteworthy happenings on the Academy Awards last night from the inspiring acceptance speech from Lupita Nyong’o (Supporting Actress, 12 Years a Slave) to Gravity taking nearly every award it was nominated for. But in my opinion, the best aspect of the event was Ellen DeGeneres and her ability to invite in the ordinary moments and make everybody laugh.

Instead of demeaning the stars like Seth MacFarlane’s performance did last year, or pumping them up to a pseudo royalty ranking, Ellen found the happy medium. She made the stars likable by lightening the mood and making them human.

She did this with bits like:

  • Comparing the Oscars to the Hunger Games.
  • Taking selfies with Bradley Cooper and the gang
  • Ordering pizza and figuring out who would leave the tip, “Where’s Harvey Weinstein? Harvey, no pressure — only a billion people are watching. Whatever you think is right.”
  • Commenting on Amy Adams lack of education
  • Pocketing Lupita’s lip gloss because it would be worth something.

The genius of Ellen’s work lies in her ability to treat life as a joke and put everyone on the same level, and from beginning to end, she got chummy with the stars and trivialized the dramatic.

And by doing so, she temporarily crashed twitter and even had her fans calling for her to run for President in 2016.

I find all of this important for three reasons:

  1. It made us laugh.
  2. It reminded us that, regardless of occupation, we were the same.
  3. Taught the world that awards and fame are important, but that in the end, we should just be thankful to be there. Wherever “there” is.

So as we move into March, the New Year isn’t feeling so new anymore. But one thing we all need to do is to take one day at a time and keep a smile on our face. If we can do that, and therefore find the positive, our days, our years and our lives will be good.



Andy Core is a credentialed, award-winning thought leader on increasing employee engagement, productivity, and wellness motivation. His talent lies in helping hard-working, conscientious adults thrive at work and in their personal lives.

Andy also wrote the book Change Your Day, Not Your Life, a guide to sustained motivation and more productivity.

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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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