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Are You Living Your Story?

 

…or is it someone else’s?

Have you ever had one of these those conversations that changes you at the core. A talk that affected you so much, you can’t help but draw on it over and over as you make your way through life?
 
I had one of those talks when I was pretty young. I was 18 at the time and as a result of getting bumped off a flight, I got a free airplane ticket to anywhere.
 
I picked Hawaii. I went by myself and stayed in the youth hostel in Waikiki.
 
While I was there I made some great connections. There is this one conversation that I go over in my head time and time again. Like I mentioned earlier it changed who I was at the core.

 

A Conversation That Changed My Life

While I was in the hostel, I met a bartender from Vancouver, Dan. Dan was about 5 years older than me, and like everyone in the hostel, we went to the beach at sunset to have some drinks and watch the sun set. Because Hawaiian sunsets are truly epic.

 

He said something to me, that I still think of:
 
“You’re an extra in my movie, y’know”
 
Confused, like all 18 year olds, I looked at him and said: “Come again?”
 
“You’re an extra in my movie,” he repeated.
 
Clearly seeing that I wasn’t getting it, Dan continued on.
 
“You see, I’m the star of my own movie, The Dan Movie, like you are the star of your own movie. The Andrew Movie”. This is the scene where our two movies cross and we meet. In a few days your movie will carry on, so will mine. But what’s so cool is that we get to share in each others movies briefly. You are living a movie. We all are.”
 
“Ok,” I said, kinda getting it and kinda not. ( I mean…. really… I was 18 and pretty dumb and naive.)
 
“No,” Dan insisted. “You are missing the point. If it’s your movie, then you are the director and the star. You will get to decide what you are going to do in your life’s movie. Most people just play as extras in other people’s movies, never realizing they are in their own movie.”
 
Since I lacked confidence, the idea of being in my own movie and acting as the star and director never crossed my mind.
 
“Here’s the point,” he continued on. “You are always creating your movie. Even in those moments where you are sitting on the couch with nothing to do. That’s still your movie. You are directing it, and you are the star. So the question becomes:

“Where do you want your movie to take you?”

 

Those Words Changed My Life

It was one of those life changing moments.

Like most of us at that age, I was heavily influenced by those around me. I was often caught doing things and thinking: “I wonder what (insert persons name who was big in my life at the time) will think about me buying, or getting, or doing something?”

Once the impact of Dan’s story hit me, things were different.

At that point I changed.

Instead of buying things hoping it would impress others I started to look at them in the context of “The Andrew Movie“. I actively tried to do things that impressed me and tried to care less about what others around me thought.

Was it perfect? Not by a long shot.

But the more I did it, the better it got. I have lived the next 20 years with the principle of living my own movie in the back of my head. It has given me a perspective that I never would have had.

Imagine yourself as an actor in: The You Movie. You are the one in control of your life’s movie.

Are you meeting new people? Or has it turned to more of a sitcom style with the same cast and characters.

Do you have walk-ons where people enter your movie and leave just as quickly?

You have been living a movie your whole life, the questions to ask yourself are:

“What kind of movie has it been?” and “Do I love this movie?”

Are you an extra in your own movie?

Photograph via Unsplash

How Are You Helping Other People’s Movies?

When I meet new people I always see what they are bringing into my life. Are they going to introduce a new idea to me, or bring up old ideas I have forgotten?

Or maybe they will challenge my beliefs and force me to grow into a better version of myself. At the same time, I’m looking for ways to become that memorable extra in their life’s movie so that I can create value and be a memorable feature in their movie.

Maybe my walk-on in their movie will turn into a regular slot. Maybe it won’t.

But it’s always interesting to see where it goes. The question I ask you is: Are you active in “The You Movie”? Or are you merely being an extra in everyone elses?

Related Post: 12 Things a Concussion Taught Me About Money and Life

How does this relate to money?

You mihgt be thinking “What the heck does this have to do with money?” Great question! You’re so smart to ask.

This relates to your money in two ways.

1. Are you spending money to impress other people in their movies? Or are you spending money to improve your own experience and create your own amazing movie narrative?

Most Importantly

2. Are you writing your own story? Or have you been wandering around as an extra for so long you have forgotten about your own movie?

Because your friends, family, kids, and coworkers are all in movies of their own. Full of their own life’s stories.

If you have forgotten about your own movie. It’s OK.

Remind yourself that today is the day you take action in your movie and start to see yourself improve. The more you improve your movie, the more you will have a lasting impact on others lives.

Make today the day you start changing your movie and create a script you can really get into. This is your life, and you deserve to have your movie be a blockbuster.

The next question is how will you improve your movie?

Lights… Camera… Action! Start living your story.

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