Thursday, January 1, 2015

How the Movie Montage is Sabatoging Your Thinking

It's that time of year and we all have such good intentions. We envision how much we are going to work out. We see ourselves in that yoga class. We envision that this is the year we're going to give it our all at work, or school, or home.

It's not that we don't know it will be hard. We know. After all we saw Rocky which includes the best movie montage of all time. We see him running in the cold, fighting dead cows in a meat packing plant, and eventually triumphantly running up the steps in Philly as the music soars and we get all choked up.

In our pajamas.

With a bag of chips.

We imagine the cold, exhaustion, and determination but we don't feel it.

Then we go out to run and it's cold. The main thing running is our nose. Or every time we sit down to write the baby cries. We just can't seem to keep things organized today because, well, you know, it's hard and we're tired.

Plus no one really cares. Not every minute. Not even every day. They'll all be glad for you when you achieve your goals but they've got their own problems. Let's be honest, we'd all run every day if all the neighborhood kids were running after us chanting our name and cheering us on like in Rocky 2.

In the real world your struggle, whatever it is, isn't going to be documented unless you blog or tweet about it. And sadly, there isn't any soundtrack. In between all the moments where you are pursuing your goal you are doing other things like going to the grocery and driving in traffic. People are going to interrupt you and get in your way. You are going to have to stay focused far longer than the 3 minutes that the movie montage takes.

The only way that montage can work in your favor is to project yourself into the future. On the worst day tell yourself "I'm going to remember this." On your best day mark your progress. When you've run the marathon, graduated, or opened your business, then take a moment to look back. Play whatever piece of music you'd want for the score. Relive every hard moment you pushed through to get there and relish in your success.

But if you are starting today, just make a plan you think you can stick to realistically. Acknowledge it isn't going to be easy. Maybe even think of today as the first scene (the decision) in your personal movie montage.Then just commit to taking tiny, unnoticed, super hard baby steps until you are finished.

In the real world, without a script writer and orchestra, that's about the best any of us can do.

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