Tony Gilroy is one of the world’s most revered screenwriters.

He’s written movies as successful, and as diverse, as Armageddon, The Bourne Identity, and Michael Clayton.

When describing the process he applies to his work, Gilroy often talks about The Secret.

He’ll take a walk around New York City until he knows he has The Secret in his possession. 

The Secret is the key to unlocking the work. It’s the magic that enables him to bring a whole world to life.

The Secret gives him the strength to go and do the work – to write the script, to design a movie, to create a world.

The Secret often isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking or revolutionary – it’s just something others haven’t yet spotted. A secret hiding in plain sight. 

The entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel also talks about the value of secrets, starting with the contrarian question ‘what important truth do very few people agree with you on? ‘

Secrets are powerful, but only when we find a way to share them in creative and valuable ways. Otherwise they can become dulled, redundant, or emanate a kind of bitterness and toxicity. 

And here is the contradiction: a secret should be shared.

Another draft of this post contained my secret, but if I publish it then I guess it’s not a secret anymore. I know I must share it, but the work is in finding the right way to bring it to life.

What’s your secret?

The Secret

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