Lin-Manuel Miranda rose to success by creating the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton. The show opened to rave reviews and was particularly noted for its deliberate casting of non-white actors in the role of the Founding Fathers of America and other historical figures. He’s also collaborated with Disney on multiple feature films- writing songs for Moana, contributing music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and starring in Mary Poppins Returns. He’s also slated to appear in a new adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.
A singer, actor, rapper, lyricist, composer, producer and playwright, Lin-Manuel Miranda wears many hats and is marvelously successful in each field. So how does he work his magic? Read on to find out what he does to achieve success!
10 He Figured Out What He Wanted To Do Pretty Early On
Lin-Minuel Miranda had grown up in a super-competitive environment. In school, he felt that he was always surrounded by geniuses. He thought everyone was smarter than him. But Miranda never let that faze him. Instead, he took it up as a challenge.
He says, “What's interesting about growing up in a culture like that is you go, All right, I gotta figure out what my thing is. Because I'm not smarter than these kids. I'm not funnier than half of them, so I better figure out what it is I wanna do and work really hard at that because intellectually I'm treading water to, to be here." In short, figure out what your string points are and then relentlessly develop them.
9 He Has A Non-Stop Work Ethic
Miranda believes in working on something until one is completely satisfied with the finished product. When he was in college, he wrote his first draft for In The Heights, his first musical. It was a hit and won a number of Tony Awards.
At the same time, Miranda was supporting himself by writing political jingles. He had also begun work on Hamilton. In other words, if you’re looking for success, be prepared to work very hard non-stop. It will ultimately pay off, brilliantly.
8 He Understands The Importance Of Diversity In Today’s World
One of the reasons Hamilton was so successful was because of its color-conscious casting. By deliberately choosing non-white actors for the rules, Miranda made everyone aware of just how important diversity representation is, in today’s world. He says, “In 'Hamilton,' we're telling the stories of old, dead white men, but we're using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience.”
Miranda aware of social inequalities, made it a point to give back to the community and be political in whatever way he could. For Miranda and other celebrities of color, the personal is also political. Understanding one's privilege and place in the social hierarchy, will help you how to navigate life and find success.
7 He’s Very Observant
Miranda is noted for his thought-provoking lyrics and lines. And that’s because he’s always been an acute observer of human nature.
In fact, he shares the secret of his successful writing: “I think if you want to make a recipe for making a writer, have them feel a little out of place everywhere, have them be an observer kind of all the time. And that's a great way to make a writer."
6 He Gives Back To His Audience
Miranda never takes anyone for granted, least of all his audience. The reason he puts in so much effort into whatever he does, is because he is aware that so many people have come all the way to see the performance and the least he can do is put up a good show.
He adds, “In a lot of cases, this is that audience's only chance to see the thing, and so, that's what gets you up in the morning, and that's what gets you giving your best performance on stage, is the awareness that this audience is ready for it, and here to have an experience, and so in turn are you."
5 He Saves Up Rejection Letters
Lin-Minuel Miranda wasn’t an overnight success. He has had his fair share of rejections and hardships. In fact, he once posted a picture of his rejection letters on Twitter. He added, “Save the rejection letters that encourage you, even if they say no. Everything is fuel.”
In fact, the takeaway lesson is this: Don’t let rejections stop you. Rather, learn from them and push yourself to do better.
4 He Is Very Humble
Lin-Minuel Miranda is incredibly humble. He doesn’t let his ego get the better of him. In fact, he doesn’t even see himself as a hero. Instead he prefers to remain as down-to-earth and grateful as he can be. In an interview, he reveals, “The notion of "hero" is scary because I am the same person I was before any of this attention got here.”
He also adds, “I make mistakes, and I yell at people in traffic, and I'm just as flawed and messed up as anybody else. But at the same time, I feel very honored by the fact that, I worked really hard to get here and I had a lot of luck…”
3 He Thinks Practice Makes Perfect
The Hamilton star is aware that there are no shortcuts to success. In fact, if you wish to get better at something, you must keep practicing till you get there.
He says in the same interview, “If my success is a testament to anything, it's that, it's just getting your reps in, and getting your ten thousand hours of practice in so that when that opportunity comes, whether it's in the form of an audition or a chance meeting, you're ready to meet the moment.”
2 He Knew He Always Had To Work Twice As Hard
In a world riddled with racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism and other social evils, success doesn’t come easy for everyone. In fact, some people have it much worse than others, for no fault of their own.
However Miranda knew he had to make the best of the situation. He knew he’d have to put in more effort to get to the same place as a white person and so he did. He says, “I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. We just knew the rule was you're going to have to work twice as hard.”
1 He Believes That We All Have A Superpower
As per Miranda, we are all talented people, gifted with a superpower or other. But most of us, due to a lack of resources or opportunities, do not get to develop them. The only way out is to be conscious of them and make the best of what we have. For Miranda, it was his ability to make words rhyme.
He adds, “Making words rhyme for a living is one of the great joys of my life... That's a superpower I've been very conscious of developing. I started at the same level as everybody else, and then I just listened to more music and talked to myself until it was an actual superpower I could pull out on special occasions."