What is Your Relentless Pursuit? Mine is TEDxToronto

I have always wanted to speak at TEDx Toronto. So every year I applied via their speaker application form. Why? Well there are many reasons.

- I have a message, story, brand and voice that can impact a million hearts.

- I have built a brand around TEDx having spoken at 4 other events.

- TEDx Toronto, for most Canadians, is the biggest and best one in our country. It’s the ‘big show’.

- Many of my colleagues have been able to use the event a platform to greatness in their career, speaking circuit and getting their message out there.

One of my good friends Drew Dudley spoke several years back. He only spent 6 minutes speaking on Lollipop Leadership, but it was momentous. Eventually that talk made it to the TED.com site. Now he has 1.4 million hits and a successful speaking career travelling around the world. His example, like many others I have seen, inspires me.

I have applied a few times and have had the honour of my friends nominating me.  In fact those nominations, along with Drew’s talk was around the first time I was introduced to the power of TED talks. 3 times the charm? Not really, but hey I have always been one to embrace failure. At least I have been able to go to these events as a delegate and share my ideas and use my social media influence to promote and support the others.

Last year I thought the theme was PERFECT for me: ”The Choices We Make’. I mean I have made some pretty ballsy and hard choices about my career, my family, my personal life, where I live, my business and much more. This year the theme is ‘Relentless Pursuits’. Oh man I love it too! Well that one also fits very nicely. Although it should fit nicely with all of us. You’ve heard me say often “Fight for your Life! If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

What have I relentlessly pursued? The same things I mentioned above. The new thing I have been pursuing these days is health and wellness with my new #FitInMyLife campaign. Because I do want to be fit in my life and health living needs to fit in my life.  I also am relentless with creating deep authentic connection and helping the ‘lost leaders’ with my personal Why. But today, I want to say my main Relentless Pursuit is speaking at TEDxToronto. Part of that relentless pursuit has been speaking at 4 other TEDx events — TEDxUWO, TEDxLaurier (I hosted too), TEDxUTSC and TEDxRichmondHill. Another part of this relentless pursuit is asking for your help.

I am currently working on getting myself nominated for the next TEDx Toronto event! I will apply again, like I did the past few years. I am excited to share talk ideas on a few ideas such as ‘The Pursuit of Balance”, “Searching for the Best Hug” and “Fighting the Parent Values Gap to not become the Values Trap” and many more.

But this time I need your help. If my messages, talks, connection or work has ever inspired you, helped you, supported you, I would be honoured and grateful if you could consider nominating me via the link here. For everyone who isn’t familiar with my work — I am a 4 time TEDx speaker, author and contributor to the Huffington Post. My personal Why is “There are Lost Leaders Everywhere” and my Mission is to “Discover, Inspire and Develop Leadership in Gen X&Y. Much of my work is giving back, whether its through my Raeallan intern team, starting up Humans of Canada, or planning the large scale Discover Your Personal Brand conference on Aug 16. I do it because YOU are my Why, my Mission, my Vision.

I thoroughly enjoy public speaking and motivating young people and hope to continue to do it for as long as I can. If you guys would like to help me continue my passion and serving others please nominate me here. The deadline is June 30, so I apologize for the short notice. Luckily the form is pretty short.

Also, here are two of my past TEDx talk I have done to give you an idea what I am all about. What is interesting to see is how I have evolved as a speaker, even from 2011 to 2013. Thank for your time!

TEDx Talk 1: “The 5 C’s of Connection”

TEDx Talk 4: “School: Learning to Fly as a Leader”

As always, please let me know how I can help you. Because I can and I will.

Take care, Bobby

 

We all have dark days, because we all are human

Every leader and entrepreneur has bad days. In the beginning it was harder for me because I had less people I knew going through what I had been going through. I also had less experience dealing with setbacks or doubts or feelings of failure. The worst days were getting to the end of the work day and realizing I had done zero, absolutely nothing, zilch. It was also hard to be “ON” all the time and it was hard to project success as defined by other people. For most in the corporate world, I still felt judged by them because they didn’t ‘get it’, in terms of why I left. But most importantly, I couldn’t sell it. But I know better now.

I started telling people about all the crappy days I wasted a few years into my small business journey because it was honest and authentic. There was a speaking event in 2011 where we took a Q&A and someone asked how to deal with ‘dark days’. I decided to be brutally honest. It was the first time I admitted how many bad days I actually had, what I actually did those days (or how little I did) and how I felt through it all. It was an epiphany moment to do so. The audience member and my fellow speakers were grateful for allowing that tough question turn into a powerful moment. The moment I embraced my vulnerability and asked for help was the moment I saw the goodness of people and realized so many others who have felt the way I have. I felt again connected to my own symphony (or tribe as some call it).

Fear is normal, but it can motivate. Doubt, however, is the biggest obstacle to every leaders’ and entrepreneurs’ growth. It can’t motivate. It makes you feel lost. But you can fight doubt by leveraging your support network. You can find ways to cope or manage. You can always read your Why, Vision and Mission aloud and celebrate the glorious path of where you are. Best of all, you can always start each day with something new, fresh and better. We all have dark days, but every new day begins with light.

7 Steps for Gen Y to Achieve Goals

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We all struggle with goals: setting, planning, and completing them. It could be because we procrastinate, don’t have time, are lazy, or can’t finish what we started, which are all stereotypical Gen Y reasons. But they’re wrong. The truth is… it’s hard! Setting goals can be a daunting task that carries with it a burden of responsibilities and hard work that we just don’t want to do. We all know we should do it because:

Without goals, we will become a product of other people’s choices and unforeseen circumstances, not our own making.

So here are the 7 tips on how to achieve your goals.

  1. It’s All About You

Don’t just take orders. Think about how your goals affect your personal and professional growth and leverage it. If the goal is work related, talk to your employer. Set clear expectations of what kind of work you enjoy doing and what you expect of each other. If the goal is personal or school-related, recognize your strong and weak points, and find what areas to focus on. For example, if you’re amazing at setting and planning goals but then never actually acting on them, work on motivating yourself to complete those goals. Know yourself and be your own boss when it comes to setting goals.

  1. Get Pumped!

Set goals that make you excited. And if they don’t, re-phrase them so that they do. Instead of “Answer e-mails”, how about “Talk to people online”. Change “Clean my room” to “OBLITERATE THE DUST BUNNIES”. Not “Save money just in case”, but “Collect gold coins in case of pirate attack”! Treat the goal as a secret mission, a duty to protect the weak, a job only you can complete, or simply make it fun for you.

  1. Stop Loafting

Start now what you will wish later on you had done earlier. Confused? Here is an example: if I didn’t start my personal blog in 2013, I may not have gotten the opportunity to write these articles for Raeallan. Back then I wasn’t thinking about internships or writing for others, I had a goal and I mustered up the courage to act on it. Realize that while you’re wasting time, other people are Hustling for a Life. (http://raeallan.com/2014/02/18/how-to-hustle-for-a-life-vs-just-hustle-for-life/)

  1. Make it Matter

Gen Y is known for wanting to be recognized and treated as special. We want to feel that our work is making a real-world impact and that the goal matters. Let’s use that need for recognition to motivate ourselves. Set goals that are important to you or something/someone you care about. And while you’re working hard to achieve your goal, keep in mind why you’re doing it.

  1. Eat Your Timbits

View the goal not as a huge cake that you cannot possibly eat by yourself, but as a box of timbits. Totally manageable one at a time, and you can even share some with your friends if you want (and you may find they want it too!). In other words, break your goal down into small steps that don’t overwhelm you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Accomplishing a goal is a process, not a cram session.

 

  1.  Put a Ring on It

After you’ve set and planned your goal, make it tangible and then commit to it. Write it down, get supplies if you need them, put something on your desk that reminds you of it, stick a bright-coloured post-it on your computer. Taking that first step will help you keep working on achieving your goal and physically reaffirm your commitment to it.

  1. Step Up

Don’t sell yourself short. If you complete most of your goals and get bored after doing your work, it means you’re not challenging yourself enough. Step up your game and make that game count. Make your dreams grander, set your goals higher, and take leaps instead of steps. You can do more and be more and you know it.

We understand that setting goals and completing them is hard. But the bottom line is that it’s a necessary part of your leadership growth. This doesn’t have to be boring because it’s YOUR goal, which means you have complete control over it. Hopefully after you’ve read this article, you’ll be setting short and long –term goals left and right. But if you do get stuck, feel free to come to us for help.

Check out our Youtube video for more information at: http://youtu.be/kw_hzYK52AY

written by Katrina Van

What You Can and Can’t Have

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You can’t have love without fear. You can have love to overcome fearhaveitall_crop380w
You can’t have truth without doubt. You can have truth to clarify doubt.
You can’t have connection without change. You can have connection to embrace change.
You can’t have growth without ambition. You can have growth to fuel ambition.
You can’t have passion without reflection. You can have passion that’s rooted in reflection.
You can’t have it all without sacrifice. You can have it all with meaningful sacrifice.
You can’t have me without giving a bit of yourself. You can have me to give all to yourself.

Whether you sometimes think you can’t, you really can.

 

 

If you like this, please share.

http://www.raeallan.com

7 Ways to Become More Confident

How to Become More Confident: 7 Ways to Help You — by Katrina Van

Many people say ‘confidence is sexy’. Whenever you type in “How to become more        ” in a Google search bar, the second item that comes up is ‘confident’ (the first being ‘social’). We all struggle with confidence and self-esteem. There is so much pressure to become confident while we’re at college/university or learning to live on our own because we were taught to believe that all adults are confident. The truth is something else:

They struggle with it too. Everyone doubts themselves now and again.

In today’s society, confidence plays an important role in many aspects of our lives. We look for it in our partners as an indicator of healthy self-esteem and we’re judged on it in interviews as a sign of capability. We see it in our parents which reinforces trust and knowledge that they know what to do. We see it in our friends and peers as being social and having their life together. We see it on TV as sexy and powerful (think Suits). The media, the Internet, the people in our life are all screaming “BE MORE CONFIDENT!”, but they don’t tell you exactly how. Well I’m here to tell you how, not as some confidence expert or psychologist, but as a regular person struggling with it every single day.

1. Accept praise

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One of the reasons people lack confidence is because they have low self-esteem. By learning to accept praise and answering “Oh so you think you’re pretty?” with “Damn right I am” in your head, you will begin to feel better about yourself (Comment below if you caught that Mean Girls reference). And if they’re complimenting you for a shady reason, who cares! They noticed something nice about you so instead of arguing with them or feeling shy about it, just say “Thank you” and smile. Notice any recurring aspects that you’re being complimented on, is it your fashion sense, assertiveness, wisdom, sense of humor, hair, kindness, passion, entrepreneurial spirit? Recognize that the most common compliment you receive is a strength, and it’s probably one of the first thing people notice when they meet you. Accentuating that part of you will help you feel better about yourself and what kind of image you’re projecting to the world.

2. Be your own role model picture2

Having role models is great, don’t get me wrong, but we end up idealizing them and creating God-like images of them. We forget that celebrities and CEOs and family members are all regular people that make mistakes just like we do. By creating a better version of you in your head and becoming your own role model, you will have a realistic image to strive for. Comparing your current, accomplished self to your past, younger self, may increase your self-worth and help you reflect on your past.

3. Treat ‘yo self!

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It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. You are worthy of everything that comes your way. Prioritize and make time for things you actually want to do. Want to go horseback riding, learn a new language, or take baking classes? WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? Weigh how much you want it with how much you’re willing to sacrifice and create an actionable plan with a timeline. I know we’re all busy with school, work and life but there’s breaks in between and, for many students, four whole months of summer! Stop making excuses and put yourself first for once. Doing what you really want will result in you learning more about yourself and becoming more self-assured. Even treating yourself materialistically, like buying a nice watch, pair of shoes, or a leather jacket and pampering yourself can make you feel like a million bucks.

4. Celebrate your successespicture4

Write it down, say it in your head, tell your mom, tell your friends, tell yourself in the mirror, shout it out, SCREAM IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS: “I WROTE A TO-DO LIST TODAAYYY!!!!” A year ago, I gave my friends jars for Christmas to fill up with memories of good things that happened in 2013. At the end of the year, you read all the good memories and things that you have accomplished. It’s a great way to reminisce and keep track of all the little happy moments in your life. Your successes, big or small, deserve to be celebrated. Whether you passed a tough course, exercised for a whole month, got a new job, or didn’t fight with your partner, it’s a reason to celebrate and pat yourself on the back.

5. Take MORE selfiespictire5

That’s right, I said it. By taking more: silly, duck, tongue-out, innocent, creative, smiley, kissy face pictures of yourself, you will begin to notice your own beauty/handsomeness and appreciate others’ as well. An important step to becoming more confident is to learn to love yourself: personality, accomplishments, values, and looks.

6. Stop worrying about what others think of you

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This is the toughest one. I hear it all the time, and it’s one of those things that is so easy to say yet so hard to do. I constantly battle with myself because I do care about what others think of me. It’s hard not to when there’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showing you what everyone else is up to, how much fun they’re having while you’re home in your pajamas eating ice cream and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The truth is that everyone puts their best face on social media, and if everyone recorded their boring days, we would be seeing a lot of vegetating, grocery shopping, doing homework, and refreshing Facebook. Instead of envying what others are doing, be grateful that you have time to laze around on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone is so busy worrying about themselves, they don’t care enough to spend their time judging you. And if they do waste their mental activity to think negatively about you, then they’re not worth being worried about.

7. Change your strutpic7

Keep your chin up, back straight, walk with a purpose, and look straight ahead. Don’t hide behind your hair or another person, walk as if you know exactly where you need to be even if you really don’t. By walking sure-footedly, like you own the place, you will feel more powerful and independent. It’s simple and it works. Just like smiling in the mirror will brighten your mood, walking with confidence will give you the courage to be more assertive.  Maybe even throw in a fun power song to get your mood up as you walk.

At the end of the day, confidence builds slowly and comes from, often quietly and consistently, getting shit done. Getting things done shows that you are a capable adult and you understand that, for example: the bills have to get paid, the work has to be completed, and that dentist appointment you’ve been dreading has to be scheduled. By doing the things you need to do, you will feel more self-assured doing them again and again, which will in turn, empower you to do more things. And doing things is how you will become more confident.

If you look at the leaders in this world you will see that although there are exceptional geniuses that are gifted like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, most CEOs and other higher-ups got to where they are by getting things done, day in and day out. With these tips, you can become more self-reliant and bold, ready to conquer everything tomorrow has to offer. Thank you for reading this article and remember that if you ever need help with confidence, public-speaking or leadership, ask us. We’re here to help.

All gifs are from giphy.com 

It’s Okay to Be Lost: 5 Ways to Act on it Right Now

BeingLost

Being Lost Is Okay…- by Katrina Van

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Whether it’s an existential realization, a quarter-life depression, mid-life crisis, being stuck in a rut, or just not knowing what to do, we all feel lost sometimes. For some, it’s a few days of aimlessly walking about their day, unable to choose between job offers. Others are lost for months, struggling with their identity or path. Some of us live with it for years, like danisnotonfire from Youtube. We usually are able to function but once in a while, we’re struck with a horrible kind of uncertainty about the future and our purpose in life.

Being lost is okay. Not doing anything about it is not.

Doubting yourself and worrying about the future is a natural reaction to the ever changing world, but don’t let being lost define you and become part of your comfort zone. The first step to “finding” yourself is recognizing something huge.

There will never be a final version of you.

You’re a constant work in progress: the sum of your ongoing actions and experiences. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you gain more understanding of what you value, like, and don’t like as well as meet new people and encounter new opportunities. To help you get started, here are some tips on how to get out of your comfort zone:

1. Say “Yes!” (not just the dress)

Sure, I’d love to go out for coffee. I can edit your paper, no problem. Hot yoga? I’ll be there. Saying yes to new experiences will create new opportunities and connections with other people. Trying new things and talking to new friends will help you identify what you do and don’t like, as well as what kinds of people you like to surround yourself with.

2. Travel. Anywhere. Just get Away.

A different country, city, town, or park with new people, places, cultures, and things is a bottomless well of creativity. Whether it’s an overnight business trip, a week long get-away, visiting family, or moving completely, changing scenery will alter your perspective. Sometimes getting lost intentionally will help you get unlost.

3. Try Giving up Dislikes from your Past.

That interesting-looking delicacy you threw up when you were 8 might taste differently now. Your sworn aversion to anything green might have been a one second decision that made you lose out on clothes you would’ve bought if they were white. Just because you hated Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows, doesn`t mean you shouldn`t watch Pirates of the Caribbean or Sweeney Todd. But it`s not about the tastes, colours, and movie stars, it`s about realizing that you will change over time along with your thoughts and opinions. And that`s okay.

4. “Only After” vs. “Only Before”—Shock your Routine.

Try brushing your teeth only after you`ve had breakfast. Call your friend before they call you. Open your laptop after you`ve talked to each of your family members. Pour your milk only before your cereal. These little changes can significantly impact your daily routine and provide new ways of thinking outside the box, especially if you’re stuck in a rut.

5. Trust your Blink.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, he writes: “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis”. Sometimes we get stuck thinking about all the possibilities and outcomes that will come out of making a decision like which jobs to apply for or what to major in. Go make a quick decision without thinking too much about it and see where it takes you. You may surprise yourself. Sometimes, your gut instinct is right.

Everyone tries new things at their own pace, so take your time exploring life outside your comfort zone. This will help you understand where you are in life right now and straighten out your priorities. Not knowing how your life will pan out is not a gaping hole of oblivion, rather it should be like Barney Stinson (from How I Met Your Mother) says,

 “Challenge Accepted!”

It’s okay to be lost, every leader has been there, and the best leaders know when to ask for help. Just make sure your actions don’t constantly re-enforce your uncertainty. Remember that everything eventually passes, including the struggle you’re going through right now. If you need help, just ask us.

Visit us at http://www.raeallan.com

12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of my OSCAR PICKS!!

Oscars 2013 Daniel Day-Lewis Jennifer Lawrence Anne Hathaway Christoph Waltz

It would take 12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of this year’s OSCAR PREDICTIONS!!

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Here they are, hopefully to help you win your Oscar pools. In giving you my 1st pick, 2nd pick, %’s and brief commentary with maybe a dark horse or upset pick. My normal article would have had much more to say, but sadly, the time did not #FitInMyLife, haha. Some real craziness this year especially in the tightest 3-way Best Picture race I have ever seen. Please comment, debate, share your picks and I’ll share more, telling you why you are right or way wrong. Remember, it’s not about who YOU think should win or was best, but who the academy will vote for. Here goes…

BEST PICTURE:

41           12 Years a Slave

40           Gravity

19           American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

Philomena

Her

This is the first time I will admit that it’s a complete toss-up between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, although it’s still possible for American Hustle to sneak through too. There are so many reasons. American Hustle won at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), 12 Years a Slave won at the Golden Globes (GG) and the BAFTA’s, while Gravity won the Directors Guild Award (DGA). Incredibly, the Producers Guild Award (PGA), which is one of my favourite indicators had a TIE for a first time in history! Both 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were announced as winners. This category also has a unique voting system where 2nd and 3rd place votes counts when there is no majority. So who do you think voters will vote for with their other votes if the top two are not first? Yup, you guessed it, BOTH of them! Gravity has few actors and 12 Years has many actors and actors make up the largest proportion of the academy. Gravity has the sweep factor, but some will say, it will win enough Oscars so we should spread the love around. 12 Years has the emotional impact and epic quality that academy voters love. Finally, everywhere I research is splitting the vote, so no one really knows for sure, but it’s pretty damn exciting. Therefore, my gut says that we will see a rare split between best director and picture and 12 Years a Slave squeaks in. Then again, predicting splits rarely works for me….ah well. Just suck it up and pick one of them.

BEST DIRECTOR:

95           Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”

5              Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”

Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

This is one of the few locks for tonight. Alfonso Cuaron has won most pre-cursor awards and people love his mastery of technical and artistic storytelling. (George Lucas could learn a thing or two from him). The only way Steve McQueen could pull off a huge upset is if 12 Years a Slave has hidden momentum only to be revealed tonight.

BEST ACTOR:

70           Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

20           Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

10           Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”

McConaughey has all the momentum and the key wins in the SAG, GG and Critics choice. This combined with his other great works this year make him the best pick. Chiwetel has a role of a lifetime that cannot be ignored and Leo is adored and loved by academy voters plus he’s been nominated 5 times.

BEST ACTRESS:

85           Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

10           Amy Adams, “American Hustle”

5              Judi Dench, “Philomena”

Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Another solid lock for the evening. Cate has overcome everything, winning every pre-cursor and avoiding any Woody Allen aftermath. Amy Adams could steal because of her 5th nomination and no win and Judi Dench could do the same because of her age and never winning Best Actress before.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

100         Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”

Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”

This is the 3rd and most secure lock of the entire evening. Jared has won every pre-cursor, was in a transformative role, was in a movie that is getting a lot of love and his personal story is compelling. If you had a million dollars, you can bet on his 1:40 odds and win a nice 25k.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

65           Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

35           Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”

Some would say this is a close race, but I beg differ. It’s certainly closer than all of the other acting categories by comparison. As much we all love Jennifer Lawrence, including the academy, having her win two years in a row and be only 23 years of age, would be quite an anomaly. Lupita has won many of the important pre-cursors including the most important SAG. Nevertheless, Jennifer cannot be ignored because she beat our Lupita for the BAFTA and she is so darn adorable.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  

60           “Her”

40           “American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

“Blue Jasmine”

“Nebraska”

The movie Her is perfectly suited to win having such an original story having won the GG, BAFTA and all-important Writers Guild Award (WGA). But Oscar loves David Russell and American Hustle had some great momentum building and then slowed down. It seems to be the one that might get shut out of most of the awards, so this is a great spot for an upset.  It’s not enough for me to call it though. Woody Allen, despite his creative talent, is definitely losing favour in Hollywood.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

80           “12 Years a Slave”

20           “Philomena”

“Before Midnight”

“Captain Phillips”

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

The only reason Philomena has a shot is because Harvey Weinstein is a pompous, arrogant dude who has to bulldog his way by influencing voters.  12 Years a Slave is an epic story and should win.

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

90           “Frozen”

10           “The Wind Rises”

“Despicable Me 2″

“Ernest & Celestine”

“The Croods”

All other competitors will be frozen out so just let it go.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: 

50           “The Great Beauty”

40           “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

10           “The Hunt”

“Omar”

“The Missing Picture”

Another very close race between our top two, but The Great Beauty won both the GG and BAFTA.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: 

45           “The Act of Killing”

40           “20 Feet from Stardom”

15           “The Square”

“Cutie & the Boxer”

“Dirty Wars”

Another very tough one to call.  I’m going with The Act of Killing but 20 feet from stardom could easily take this one. I put The Square in because it did win the DGA.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

85           “Gravity”

10           “Philomena”

5              “Her”

“The Book Thief”

“Saving Mr. Banks”

Another lock for Gravity. Harvey Weinstein can try all he wants, but I hope he doesn’t pull off an upset for Philomena.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

85           “Let It Go”, Frozen

10           “Ordinary Love”, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

5              “Happy”, Despicable Me 2

“The Moon Song”, Her

Some say that Mandela’s death would be a timely reminder and opportunity for an upset, so we can’t ignore that. However, which song above can you sing, right now? Exactly! Whether you are a parent or not, the choice is no contest. So let it go.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

90           “Gravity”

10           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

“Nebraska”

“Prisoners”

“The Grandmaster”

Another one of the few locks. You cannot watch Gravity without thinking about the cinematography.

BEST FILM EDITING:

55           “Captain Phillips”

45           “Gravity”

“12 Years a Slave”

“American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

Very close race too! When in doubt, go with the A.C.E. winner. That would be Captain Phillips and not the front-runner. That said, the beautiful long takes that Gravity is famous will be both a bonus and a detriment to its Oscar chances.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

55           “The Great Gatsby”

35           “Gravity”

10           “12 Years a Slave”

“Her”

“American Hustle”

Another closer race than it seems. Great Gatsby has fantastic sets and is a front-runner, but Gravity has momentum and sweep factor potential.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

45           “American Hustle”

40           “The Great Gatsby”

15           “12 Years a Slave”

“The Grandmaster”

“The Invisible Woman”

Most people are picking Great Gatsby for this one. However, here is my first predicted upset. The momentum of American Hustle plus how incredibly sexy Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence looked might be enough to sway voters to get nostalgic about the 70’s. Okay, maybe I’m being swayed. Safe bet is Gatsby, but take a risk on American Hustle and maybe win your Oscar pool.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIR:

100         “Dallas Buyers Club”

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”

“The Lone Ranger

I don’t think anyone wants to allow Jackass or the Lone Ranger to call itself an “Academy Award winning movie.”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

99           “Gravity”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Iron Man 3″

“The Lone Ranger”

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Um…yeah, well the dragon was pretty cool in The Hobbit, so I’m biased. But it’s Gravity all the way.

BEST SOUND EDITING: 

75           “Gravity”

24           “Captain Phillips”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“All is Lost”

“Lone Survivor”

Gravity all the way. Captain Phillips has a good chance to upset, but doubtful. I gave The Hobbit a 1% shot because of my personal bias and love for that movie.

BEST SOUND MIXING: 

80           “Gravity”

15           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

5              “Captain Phillips”

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Lone Survivor”

Historically these 2 categories of Sound Editing and Sound Mixing have gone hand-in-hand 95% of the time, except in the last few years. That said, the sound and especially the silence of space make Gravity a much stronger pick in this category.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

60           “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life”

20           “Facing Fear”

15           “Cave Digger”

5              “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

“Karama Has No Walls”

A 109 year old piano playing holocaust survivor? Okay, good choice.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

60           “Get a Horse!”

25           “Mr. Hublot”

10           “Room on the Bloom”

5              “Feral!”

“Possessions”

Get a Horse is the big front-runner, but those who don’t like Mickey Mouse may go for Mr. Hublot.  These smaller categories are harder to predict and easier to have upsets. Given how crazy this year is, especially best picture, you may win your pools way down here in these categories.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

40           “The Voorman Problem”

30           “Helium”

25           “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)”

5              “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”

Any one of the top 4 could win. But I’m going with the stats, odds and what most people are picking.

Summary: There you have it. So who gets the most Oscar love?

Gravity                                                 6

12 Years a Slave                                3

Dallas Buyers Club                           3

Frozen                                                  2

American Hustle                               1

Captain Phillips                                  1

Her                                                         1

Blue Jasmine                                      1

Biggest losers: Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska get zero. American Hustle for all it’s glory, momentum and how much I love it and Amy Adams, only gets 1 small Oscar.

So now….who is gonna be BEST DRESSED?!  I say Jared Leto!  Okay Jennifer Lawrence too.