LIFE. Be the star of your own film
When I talked about writing a blog about life and being the star of your own film, a good friend of mine called Evos reminded me that of course we are all not just stars of our own films, but also the director, producer, audience and critique. Evos is a landscape painter who has purposely taken himself to insanity and back for the sake of his work – he is a man who speaks from a full colour spectrum of experience.
Acknowledging that you are the writer, producer and star of your own film puts you in a powerful position to mould your life into a shape that works for you. Fully embracing the concept allows you to accept that all the decisions that shape your life are a work in progress, and can always be fixed, adjusted, painted over – or scrapped to start again according to how much or how little progress you are making.
Our day to day life and its patchwork of work vs. play routines can have us questioning our choices every day. We question whether we have the balance right, we question whether we’re in the right career, we compare ourselves to others and question whether we’re living life to the fullest. We might even question whether so many questions are the best use of our precious time. Asking questions is good as they force us to evaluate options and opportunities and adjust the balance of our lives.
Any accomplished scriptwriter will tell you that the majority of great films have a formula that accounts for their greatness. You don’t need to create a box office hit (let’s reduce the pressure here) – but instead why not aim to make yourself a ‘joyful starlet’ by reading, absorbing and addressing the following formula:
Thousands of studies have been carried out relating to the human need to belong. We are not solitary animals, we like to be part of a pack, even if we prefer to be an individual within it. If your life film is going work, make sure you give enough air-time to nourish your need to belong – whether that’s to a team at work, or maybe an extra curricular group or organisation. Belonging to a clan, whatever form that may take, not only helps us shine, it also helps us help others to shine. Belonging is a beautiful human notion that allows us to share, learn and grow.
Without purpose, you could argue “what is the point?”
What is the thread of your film and where are you headed? Purpose can involve short term goals or long term ones – just make sure you have a few to avoid time passing you by quickly or painful stagnation. Whether work life or play time, creating purposeful actions helps drive growth.
We all love a hero or heroine who achieves something rather than one who does not. What if Dorothy had never quite made it to the Emerald City? What if Scrooge never saw the errors of his ways? What lessons could possibly have been learned?
When was the last time you decided “I am going to achieve this, and won’t give up until I do?” How did you feel once you achieved it – or how did you feel when you failed to achieve it? Giving up smoking? Setting up a healthy routine? Going for a new job interview? Asking for a promotion? Moving house?
If your mission was unsuccessful, perhaps you could try it again, and set up a different support structure to help you this time. If you’re going to take a starring role in your film, it’s definitely worth learning from your mistakes and trying again.
If you were going to write a film and take the starring role yourself, wouldn’t you give yourself a pretty good deal?
Take a minute to note how you feel when you think about each one of the following:
- The day to day work you do
- The place you work in
- The room you sleep in
- The people you usually hang out with
- The most important person in your life
Note which ones make you feel positive and which ones don’t. What can YOU do to make changes to the negative aspects of your life? It’s time to grasp happiness with both hands. That may involve tweaking the script quite considerably.
Energy, enthusiasm and excitement are the three E’s that shape the vivacity of your film and give it energy and momentum. Regardless of how your film pans out, if your approach is placid or passive, it’s never going to be a blockbuster hit.
Vigour is often underestimated, but it is the result of positive high energy and determination – both of which are key components of achievement.
If you lack vigour or enthusiasm, time to ask yourself what is bringing your energy down. How can you fix it and what tools or support do you need to supercharge yourself?
OK so the aim of the film analogy was simply to look at some pretty standard fundamentals from a new angle. These five ‘formula elements’ actually make up the ‘Employee Experience Index’ – the result of a large body of research into what makes up a positive employee experience.
Interestingly, findings revealed that employees who experience a sense of belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness and vigour demonstrate higher performance levels as well as levels of ‘discretionary effort’. Discretionary effort is the effort that an employee makes that is ‘above and beyond’ expectations because they like what they do, and want to do it well.
In other words, sprucing up the five elements of this formula in your life (be it work or play, they’re both in the script) can do so much more than offer you a starring role, it can reconstruct the fundamental pillars of your life. There is literally no reason why you shouldn’t put some time and effort into developing your film script – and remember, there’s not going to be popcorn since you are absolutely not just a spectator!