The boy who lived, and the audience that doesn’t.
Last night I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, and I think it’s my favourite of the lot. Long gone are the kiddy charms that slowly vanished after the first and second films, and even throws a couple of shots from the first movies just to violently hammer home that the fairytale has grown up.
During that movie though, something hit me that stuck long after the credits rolled up. Usually during these film my imagination runs rampant, with me wondering what it would be like to be in these situations we see on screen but once it’s over, I forget all about it. But last night, I realised that the only escapism that people like me get close to experiencing is sitting in a comfy chair, in a darkened room with a box of popcorn, watching somebody else live out an incredible adventure.
My girfriend Wendy often says she wants an adventure, and I normally agree, but most of the time our day-to-day duties keep us rooted to the same mundane days we live day in, day out. Now I’m not saying that I want to go enroll into Hogwarts or that my life is incredibly boring; far from it, I’m grateful for my life and the relative freedom it allows me. I’m simply getting at that most people are quite happy to watch life go by on a cinema screen, after all, why get involved in all the risks and dangers when we can quite happily watch an actor or actress do it for us. We are more comfortable getting from birth to death in the safest way possible. Ok, I stole this quote from the great late Earl Nightingale, but he definitely knew what he was talking about.
Long ago, during a particularly nasty break-up, my ex complained that all I did was sit in a corner of my living room on the computer. Well, ok, that maybe true, but at the time I convinced myself that giving away a large proportion of my life to follow a dream would assure my future would be a completely amazing one, allowing me to be my own boss and grant me the opportunity to do whatever I wanted to do. Whilst my peers and people my own age would be calmly working themselves through retirement into a comfortable grave, I would be enjoying life to the max. I bear no grudges against my ex for the hurtful things she said, moreover I wish her all the best in life (being bitter is one of life’s greatest tradgedies) and actually thank her for opening my eyes with what she said. I realised afterwards that I should be out enjoying life much more than I was doing.
Nowadays I find myself saying ‘yes’ more, and making more plans. A ten day road trip to Hungary later this year is an example. I don’t even concern myself with the money – make plans and the money will find you. I don’t let circumstances determine my life, and I gladly welcome whatever comes my way.
The craziest thing is as well, since this awakening, my own work seems to have accelerated forward even more. That’s not to say I’m working any less, I just find better ways to balance out my life.
So for any fellow workaholics, don’t let life pass you by like a 90min movie. Nobody knows when our own final credits will roll. Adventure awaits all of us, we just need to fathom out where to find it. Don’t let your name, your job, your ego, or your bank account determine who you are. We all came into this world the exact same way, and we’ll exit it the same as well.
It’s what we experience in between that truly defines who we are.
Life itself should be the adventure, so let’s leave this world with some fantastic memories.