Energy, passion and talent at play: the book “Ava ou la femme qui aimait les hommes”, written by Elisabeth Gouzlan, French author to watch. This is the latest biography of the actress Ava Gardner.

This book is not yet translated in English, unfortunately. It won’t be an easy task to translate the rhythm, the choice of words and the amazing dynamic of this book. Not only it is fascinating and entertaining, it is subtle, smart and documented. In addition Elizabeth Gouzlan writes with humor, combined with a deep understanding of human kind that holds your attention until the end.

I had no particular interest in Ava Gardner. I have always had a very skeptic view on anything that has to do with Hollywood and the star system. And I must admit that my knowledge on movies and movies history is close to none.

Despite all this, I love this book; I enjoyed every page of it. For those of you who understand French, go buy this book and read it. It is brilliant.

The reason why I write a post on this is because it illustrates a very important aspect of passion that all women should be aware of.

Elizabeth Gouzlan shows in this book what an amazing writer she is. All biographies require a huge amount of work. It takes a lot of time, energy and dedication to come up with a bio ready to be published. The fuel behind this is passion combined with talent.

Talent makes it easy and rewarding while passion gives the energy to go on when most would give up.

It takes a certain amount of self-esteem to be able to let go, so talent is expressed, unless it is an impulsive, desperate move that suffers no alternative. Ava Gardner falls in the second category. She lived in a time when choices for women were extremely limited: her beauty gave her the opportunity to achieve something beyond her, and she had no choice but going down that road. Whatever she was made her the myth she is known for.

Was she happy? It seems to me that she wasn’t. Talent does not make anyone happy unless passion fuels it. Ava Gardner had no passion for her job. The only passion she ever had was for a man, then another, unable though to transform these uncontrollable feelings into true love. Self-esteem was lacking. Despite the apparent “glamour” of her life, her insecurity dominated her life. And she was saved from failure by the amazing passion she triggered in others.

The only thing that makes us happy is passion felt, not received. Once this inner fire is ignited and genuinely combined with talent, one can grow and express a true potential regardless of others’ insecurity reflected in jealousy and negativity.

What we, women, must understand and integrate at all times is that other’s opinions only matter for them. Rarely it has an objective correspondence with what we do. Excellence and fulfillment are within us, ready to come out if we trust. Faith is what we need to cultivate to express our potential.

This book is a fantastic demonstration of a woman subtle and wonderful energy at play.

Critics love this book. Good. But honestly, who cares? What matters, is that Elizabeth Gouzlan is glowing and her book is amazing. Success is a welcome side effect, but only a side effect.

Today we have more choices than ever in women’s history. We have no excuse for letting others take charge of our life. The more there will be successful women the better it will be for everyone, men included.

The difficult part is to find out where talent is and whether or not passion can fuel it. It is true that being good at something is encouraging: it creates a momentum to build upon. Ava Gardner’s life shows however that this is not enough. Not only one needs to be good but it also takes to feel good about what one does. The pride, love, and sense of fulfillment give the energy to go further. Then the wonderful energy of passion kicks in and is fed by the momentum of success created by an expressed talent.

What is interesting in Ava Gardner’s case is that despite the huge success she knew throughout her career, she never believed in her talent. She seems to have found that acting was extremely stressful and she did not seem to enjoy any of it.

Pleasure. Pleasure is interlinked with desire, and that is a good recipe for passion.

So I guess that the easiest route to a true calling is pleasure, then talent, then passion. Find what you love doing, check whether you are good at it. Enjoy the positive feedbacks and ignore the others. Persevere in what you are good at, the magical passion will soon fuel your energy in a sustainable way.

It all comes from inside but it shows outside.  The outer world’s perception is only a reflection more or less accurate. If we can’t ignore it, it should not drive us. The true drive is from within.

Well done, Babette! I look forward to read more.