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I got a handful of popcorn pressed to my mouth as I simultaneously take big gulps of my overpriced Coke. Ten minutes later, the previews end. I put my Coke down and settle in. But there’s a problem. As I look up to the screen, I see an image. It’s not the image I intended to see. It’s not the actor I anticipated to watch. In fact, it’s not even the movie I bought tickets for. The lady at the front desk must have messed up. Whatever. I guess I’ll just watch this movie now, I say to myself…but I can’t. There’s a problem. I soon realize that this isn’t just another movie, it’s my movie. It’s the movie of my life. But that’s not the problem. The problem is I hate it. I can’t stand it. I try to sit through it, but it’s too boring, I can’t force myself to watch it so I get up twenty minutes into the movie with the goal of creating a movie worth watching.
Life is a movie. You meet assholes, you meet the love of your life, you create businesses, you mess up, you lose the love of your life, you cry, you whine, you get back up, you laugh, and you travel the world and leave fresh footprints in beautiful sand, overlooking the blue sea.
Sometimes the movie ends well, sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it ends with you kissing the girl of your dreams and sometimes it ends with you watching someone else kiss the girl of your dreams.
That’s the beauty.
You move through each day, not knowing what the future will bring.
Will it be full of heartbreak or joy?
You can’t call it, but you sure do hope and wish that it will be full of blue skies.
Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong.
Regardless, each day serves a purpose.
It represents a scene that will in turn make up your movie.
But most people live their entire life without understanding this simple fact.
Just because the red light on your video camera is not flashing, does not mean that you are not recording.
Every day your mind is capturing an image of the day and it will present it to you for final review right before you take your last breath.
It’s tempting to think of each day as holding no significance to the overall plot, but that’s inaccurate.
Every day you are shooting.
If you ruin today’s scene, you will ruin tomorrows. Cause and effect. Before you know it, the credits will be rolling and you will be snoring.
Why? Because you lived the same scene for 70 years and you labelled it a life. You created a movie out of it.
They won’t tell you, but I will…
No one wants to watch you working in a cubicle for 40 years, wishing and dreaming of living the life of your dreams, but never taking action.
That’s a horrible movie.
But yet you still do it.
“What if I press the wrong button? What if I give it my all and the end product is horrible?”
Got damn, doubts. They’ve ruined more dreams than failure ever will.
So you let the doubts win and you pass the camera to your boss, your co-workers, your spouse, and your children…and you let them shoot YOUR MOVIE FOR YOU.
You become a wallflower.
You become a passenger of your life, instead of the driver.
You feel like you’re missing out on something and your life is supposed to represent more, but you don’t know what to do about it.
You don’t know where you left your camera. It’s been so long that the act of directing your own movie feels foreign to your brain.
So you don’t do anything about it.
You rationalize and you tell yourself, “this is how life is supposed to be.”
And then one day, you walk into the doctors office for your regular check up and he tells you to sit down.
He tells you that you have a tumor in your brain.
He politely tells you to get your affairs in order.
You hardly react to the news. You’ve been dead for over 40 years now, sure your heart was pumping blood, but your soul left your body decades ago.
Your soul left your body the moment you gave up control of your life.
And now you will finally realize it.
Because now it’s time to watch the movie your mind has been shooting this entire time.
The movie depicting the story of your life.
It’s the final test of whether or not you lived a life worth living.
And just like that, you lie down on the hospital bed and you close your eyes, and the movie starts playing.
But there’s a problem.
The movie is boring…but you cannot turn it off and go shoot another, because it’s too late.
You’re on your death bed.
Screw thinking about shooting another movie, you’re lucky if you get to take another breath.
And then just like that, the movie ends, and your heart gives out.
The nurse covers you with a white cloth and your family buries you in a cemetery that is home to thousands of other people who lived and died without ever directing their own movie.
I don’t want to die with a mediocre movie, I’m sure you don’t either. Here are the ten things that I intend to do about it. Hopefully, in these solutions, you too can find an answer or two that will spice up your life.
1. When you are faced with a decision, ask yourself, “When I am old and gray and I am lying on my death bed, will I regret doing this or not doing this?” Whatever your answer. Live it.
2. Get out and take alone time in nature. Sit on a bench. Look at the ocean. Go for a walk. Keep a clear mind throughout it all. Don’t think about anything. Do it every day and you’ll find the answers to all of your questions.
3. I purchased a ticket a few days ago to a city I’ve never been to, a place I’ve never encountered, people I’ve never met. I will be travelling alone. Adventure. Reclaim it. Do something exciting.
4. Work less. Live more. When you’re about to die, the thought that will never cross your mind is “Damn, I wish I would have worked more.”
5. Cut out all negativity. Negative people, negative media, negative influences. They will corrupt your movie.
6. Kiss someone you love, every single day. Lead your life with love. Love cures all.
7. Live for the world. Serve the world. Become more useful. If you’re broke and you’re miserable, it’s because right now you are useless to the world. Find what’s in demand and become useful. Become a person of value.
8. If you see someone you would like to know (romantically, socially, or professionally) approach them.
9. If your job is boring, quit. Put your back up against the wall. Force yourself to find a way out.
10. Smile. It’s the greatest form of charity.