Blogpost, self-reliance

Watching the Movie, Living the Movie

I don’t remember how I got introduced to the Rocky series of movies when I was a kid. However I recall very plainly being a fifth grader who was running a mile or more each day as part of some “training montage”. No one had told me to do it. There was no coach, parent or other person telling me to get up early and put in this work. I’d simply taken something that I saw on the screen and put it into practice in my own life. That formula continued as I grew with movies like the Matrix. I took things from the theater and applied them.

This is not a unique situation. Actually it’s the way that everyone lives their life. The only difference is the input source. Every child takes in what they see on the “screen” whether that is a literal screen or just the movie that is playing out in front of them called life. They watch parents, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, strangers and all manner of other people acting in certain way and mimic some of what they see. It’s how we learn and sometimes it’s how we grow as people. The very public theater of life is filled with a chaotic mess of people acting in such a variety of ways that sometimes the right people to mimic are hard to identify. The big screen of movies and TV often makes things simpler because characters are idealized versions of humans that can be identified as good or evil. While these are both places to get inspiration, the most powerful theater is the private one. The one inside of your own head that no one else can access. Before you can do anything in the outer world, you must first see it on the private screen. Frequently the movies that are played on the private screen are re-runs of past patterns or expectations based on what we’ve always known. That is why people tend not to improve their station in life. They have a set of films that they see inside of their head and introducing a better moving picture of themselves is difficult.

It’s difficult because there is a good possibility that the private movies don’t always make it to the public theater of life. Getting them from the private screen to the reality screen takes work, dedication, patience, etc. and those are tough ingredients to put in when the outcome is uncertain. Spending a few minutes or more, envisioning the outcome that you want each and every day may feel like a fool’s errand. Visualization is something that we tend to do but usually it is reruns of past events. The projection of a future that is disconnected from our present and our past can feel unsettling, like leaping off some sort of cliff. However in order to move forward, we must separate ourselves from the ground and propel ourselves forward. Therein lies the difficulty. Creating a picture of one’s self that is different from the present version can be a challenge but that vision of separation allows the new character of you to emerge.

The world is not going to offer you a starring role, even in your own life. You need to imagine it on the small private screen first before pitching it to everyone else. Fortunately the movies give us the perfect word for bringing your new vision for yourself out into the open. So come up with your vision, see it as clearly as you can. Whether the cameras are rolling or not!



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