When Alumni outreach organizers here at FIU reached out to ask if I would be interested in spending time talking with students and Alumni about career and life goals I was flattered. What a great opportunity to share! But then I instantly began wondering, What in the world could I present to this incredibly talented, techno-savvy, self-aware group of young millennials that they haven’t already heard? There are the usual messages of outperform yourself and your peers; network; volunteer; get involved; pay close attention to what you are posting on social media, blah, blah, blah…” Then I started thinking about my own journey; one that has produced incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences, career success, personal fulfillment and a big bowl of happiness. That’s when it occurred to me that there is at least one concept many have perhaps not heard.
What if I told you entertainment industry leaders had just handed you an Oscar for best director, producer and actor in a major motion picture based on the story of your life? If you don’t work in the film industry you might think that’s a far-fetched concept.
Rest assured… it isn’t.
The truth is each one of us has a starring role in how the story of our lives plays out. That includes character involvement, plot twists, scene locations and yes, even whether the film is an action, romantic-comedy, horror or drama genre. Sub-consciously I think I chose comedy as my movie genre, because if you can’t laugh at and with yourself, what is the point? But I digress…
It took me many years to figure out this “movie” approach to living my life but it happened due to several factors. I spent more than twenty years as a professional broadcast journalist, during which time I witnessed ALL KINDS OF varying human nature situations. When one covers local news you have a chance to see just about everything and anything you can imagine (and much you can’t). It turns out that good, bad or bizarre, what people were experiencing was more often than not the result of some level of personal actions.
After racking up thousands of miles traveling to destinations near and far I was fortunate enough to experience adventure and excitement outside the daily norms. It was through those trips I gained new appreciation for the role of set scouters and location production experts. Some stories, it seems, are simply more interesting when there’s an exotic backdrop. In life, we get to choose location for our movie.
Like most young adults carving out my place in the world, I experienced the ups and downs and successes and failures that come with the pursuit of personal and professional success. Then of course, there were a handful of sometimes comic yet tragic train-wreck-like relationships that added to the drama and action of the script.
It was through all of this roller-coaster journey of life that I came to a conclusion about how to approach the art of ‘living.’ It is so simple I am baffled that more individuals do not employ this process as a means to achieve personal, professional and financial success. And that conclusion is this: each one of us is the writer, producer, director and promoter of the blockbuster movie of our lives!
We’ve all seen good movies and we’ve suffered through those which are not. A good script requires planning, vision, creativity, the ability to take risk with our characters and plot. The pacing needs to move and not get bogged down. Heroes and heroines rarely follow the crowd; that’s why they have the starring role. We can all choose to land the lead part. And although life isn’t truly like a Hollywood movie in which everyone lives happily ever after… I DO believe that everything always works out as it should; for our best and for our good. Just like on the silver screen.
The key is, we must decide how to write the script in order for that outcome to be exactly as we desire.
I look forward to meeting all of you during our special Webinar, Tuesday, October 25, 2016, @12pm EST/9am PST. See you then!
Written by: Julia Yarbough