Things That Matter
One of my favorite parts of working non-profit jobs is everyone usually went to school to be something else. Often no one goes to college to work at a camp. Or on an events team at an accounting society. Or in Transition services. Sure, there are majors that are similar, but usually everyone comes in with stories and passions outside of what they are currently doing.
I love this.
Mainly because my self-diagnosed wing 7 loves the idea that we can flit from one thing to the other and never get bored.
Recently I worked with a girl who was film major. And even though I personally think I’ve come up with some pretty good movie ideas throughout my life (looking at you, Gridlocked), I have absolutely no real knowledge on the subject.
Now she was super sweet about it, but I think she judged me pretty hard when I told her some of my favorite movies. And she would have died if she knew Sweet Home Alabama was on the list too. But I’m sort of self-aware, so I didn’t mention it.
She told me an interesting aspect on one of her film classes. She talked about how in writing a screenplay, everything in it must have a purpose. From the major plot twists to the details of the floor, if it’s written in, it needs to have a reason. Her professor would read though them and ask “why” to the most obvious or unimportant scenes. Why did you have that dog run across the street? Why did you name the street this name? Why does the person walk on the left side of the street, etc.
The idea being, that everything involved in the story has meaning behind it. It’s not ill-thought out or random, it’s designed and designed with purpose.
This fascinated me, because I think this mentality is helpful in life (although the thought of going through with the much detail did not. Hi! Not detail oriented).
An old Director of mine use to say, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Obviously, it would be very extreme to calculate every move in life. It would be impossible and very boring. Unlike a film, we don’t have the perspective to know how everything will turn out, and some of the best seasons of the life come from the unexpected.
However, I think there is weight to the idea that the way we live our lives today, reflect on tomorrow. The reasons and choices we make can change a lot and shape the direction of where we are going. The habits (good or bad) we continue with, matter.
So I’ve become my own film professor recently (you know, sans the degree). Sometimes I can find myself getting sucked into things because they're routine or socially acceptable but after further inspection, I’m not even sure I really enjoy doing them. I’ve started to literally ask why in different aspects of my life that matter to me.
What’s this adding value to? In thinking about what I want out of life, is this thought/action/habit/detail helping me getting there? What purpose does it serve? What parts need more purpose – those things I just mindlessly do without real reason. A lot of time we (me) focus on what’s missing rather than trying to understand it.
It’s shifted some of my perspective and it’s motivated me in a different way. I'm trying to cut out the dull spaces and fill them with things that matter.
The monotonous groove of waking up early - spending time here. Writing.
Going to go the gym, even though no part of me wants to go.
Intentionally mapping out and nurturing things I want out of life.
These are a few of the good ones - there’s still plenty of “eating too much good food and accidentally spending too much money”. But I’m working on those and honestly again it’s my blog so just, ok?
Unfortunately it likely won’t lead me to an Oscar, but I think it’s been helpful when visualizing future life plans.
I’m all about the magic, the unpredictable and the fun. But there’s value to thinking through the “why’s” in life, and placing more purpose and focus in the parts that matter.