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The Movie in Your Head: Inside the Mind of an Inspired Person

Inspired people, even when they are working hard, do not feel stressed. They have unplugged themselves from routine, and plugged themselves into an imagined life.
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When you walk on a street, how much are you a part of it? When you look at a building, is it something that you could build? When you drive past beautiful houses, do you think to yourself: "I can get there?" And when you see a loving couple holding hands as they walk along the ocean, do you realize excitedly: "When I decide that I want that -- when I truly decide -- I will have that?"

What distinguishes those people who live inspired lives from those who don't? And what can you do to enhance your own life? I am referring here, not to better eating, exercise or sleeping, but to a much more subtle stress-busting attitude that can help you re-charge your life. I am referring to how you register the image of life on the movie screen of your brain, and how you see your role in that movie. On your walk at lunch today or tomorrow, I would like you to think about this, and perhaps try out an exercise or two related to your role in the movie in your head.

Inspired people, even when they are working hard, do not feel stressed. They have unplugged themselves from routine, and plugged themselves into an imagined life. An imagined life is a story that you tell yourself, and inspired people tell themselves a story that creates the movie of their lives.

This story is not a wish. And that is a crucial thing to remember. It is the script that determines an inspired life. But it is not even this script that I am referring to as the essential ingredient in an inspired life. Instead, I am referring to your mindset when you write this script, and how you allow the characters to come to life. Are the characters in your script believable? They do not have to conform to conventional standards of realty, but something about them (like E.T. or Superman) has to be believable enough to watch.

Peter B. grew up on the south side of Chicago. As a child, he would venture into the city, and gaze in wonder at the tall buildings. But the way in which he would gaze at these buildings is what helped him grow into the real estate tycoon that he became. He saw the buildings as belonging to him -- and they were. They were in his brain. He didn't "own" them, he just saw them as a natural part of himself. When he "got real" with himself, he even admitted that he knew that someone else owned the building on the street. But the one in his head was his.

This assumption of ownership over the movie in our heads is what distinguishes inspired from uninspired people. Inspired people march to the beat of their own drummers, because they listen to their drummers and if they can't, they look for them. They may see a drummer on the street, and they may even create a drummer in their minds, but they know that the real drummer is sitting in one of the rooms of their minds, and all they have to do is find the room so that they can hear him or her. Oftentimes the drummer in the head of an inspired person will make a voluntary appearance, especially because inspired people do not fight or tune out the drumming from other sources -- they merely recognize them as not being their own.

The painfully abstract concept that I am trying to convey here, is that the way that you take in your environment correlates directly with how you live life. The more you are "one" with the images and experiences life sends your way, the less stressed you will be. If you are always gazing at "other" people and looking at the movie outside your own head, then your internal life has no movement potential of its own. Your motivations come alive only to your own stories, and your brain is ever ready to tell you them if you will take a moment to listen.

The list below summarize the differences between the movies in the heads of inspired and uninspired people:

Inspired People
The script comes before the movie of life
Direct the movies of their lives; they know when to say "cut"
Take life in to make their own movies
Play the lead role in their movies
They re-invent characters and plots when the script is not working

Uninspired people
The movie of life writes the script
Do not see how they can direct their own movies because they pay attention to movies outside their own heads; the movie is ongoing
Do not make their own movies of life
They are not in their movies; they watch their movies
They are victims of pre-written characters and plots

So, what can you do about this? I would start by answering the following questions and writing down your thoughts when you have some time:

If your life were a movie that you could make-

(1) How would you change the script ?
(2) Are you in the movie? How could you be more in it?
(3) When things are too much, can you say "cut" and take a break?
(4) What would it take for you to play the lead role in your life?
(5) How can you make the images that your camera-brain shoots become part of your story?

If your life's movie departs from your script, ask yourself: "As the director of the movie, what would I do now?"

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