Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Who’s Starring in Your Movie?

All of us are, every day, creating a movie, but we don’t see it that way. We view it as living our lives, but aren’t we following a script of sorts? Isn’t that what this is all about? Don’t tell me that you get up each day and you stumble about not having any idea of what you’ll be doing, seeing or thinking about that day. You most certainly do have an idea and, some of you, will have a rather set-in-stone idea of what the day will be like.

Ok, so you’ve got the script and you don’t like it, so what do you do? Since you, my good reader, are both the scriptwriter and the director and even the director of photography, you have the power to change it all up. No, you are saying, you don’t? Yes you do.

Sure you may not be able to get out of that job that you really don’t care for very much, but you know what? Not many people like their jobs, either. For many it’s a matter of sheer necessity to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads, get the kids what they need for school and, this goes without saying, put food on the table. Demands all around and that can be pretty depressing, if you let it.

Where’s the joy in that script you’ve written? Of course there should be some joy. You don’t have the time or energy? Oh, yes you do but you haven’t allowed yourself to lift up that curtain of despair and, perhaps, depression to look at what you CAN do.

Wherever you are in your life, whether you are just starting out in a career, in the middle of one or thinking about retirement, there’s time for a script change. It doesn’t have to be major like the fellow I heard about who just up and left his wife and three kids one day and was never seen again. Yup, he ran off with the secretary. Well, that was his movie, but I don’t think that’s the one you want to write.

There has to be some small place where you can inject new life into that script, but that’s for you to find out, not for me to tell you. Because if I tell you, I become the director and the writer and that won’t serve you well. You can’t live your life according to my script, but only because of your own script.

At whatever point in your life you are, you are now the director. It’s not your parents or your partners, your friends or even your current financial situation.  You haven’t given yourself the time to think it over, to fantasize a bit and initiate a bit of active role playing. Oh, I didn’t tell you that you are the major star in this film? But of course you knew that from the very start.

Simple things can have dramatic effect on circumstances. Let’s take, for example, how you carry yourself, how you dress, whether or not you wear glasses or not. Ever notice how many news anchors are suddenly wearing glasses again? Know why? Of course, it’s to give the impression that they’re bright. It’s all artifice and they know it and plan to bank on it very well. You can do that, too. Simple little things.

Study people as though you were in acting school and see what might be used to your advantage. Yes, you can emulate people, but don’t overdo it. If you do you may have some very unpleasant ribbing to endure.

Where is your movie headed? How will your hero get there and what are you willing to endure to achieve it? Nothing comes easy. No one is going to drop a load of $100 bills into your hands, leave you an inheritance or give you a winning lottery ticket. If you wait for that to happen, you are wasting valuable time. 

Don’t buy the hokum on TV or that “you’ve got to be in it to win it.” Sure you have to be in it to win it but I’m talking about life, not crazy illusions that only coax you into doling out your hard-earned money or worse—into become an addictive gambler. Know why casinos are so popular? Because people have been led to believe that if they only try one more slot or one more hand at Blackjack they’ll come into a fortune. The house knows that and they bank on your being that gullible.

So, what’s the plan? Sit down and really think it over and look at the pros and the cons. And remember, the plan may just be to have a happier life by including some joyful activity that you will permit yourself on a regular basis. If joy is missing, get it back into your life in any small way you can. It can make a dramatic difference in your movie and be the equivalent of an Academy Award for you.