Create Your Montage
It’s Blog Time. Look at your watch, it’s true.
I’ve got 2 things to tell you. They’re both good. One is about something you’ve SEEN, the other about something you’ve HEARD. We’ll start with something you’ve SEEN.
As a society, we tend to glorify “the Big Break”, don’t we? In any great film, you’ll see the hero have a defining moment. Some climactic, emotional event that happens that shifts the character’s thinking, and it’s then followed by…a montage.
As a film director whose first entrepreneurial venture was starting his own film festival, you can understand how well I know this gimmick in films. Some of my favorite film moments have been montages, whether it be in every Rocky film, The Lord of the Rings, or just about every Marvel movie in the last 20 years, and the formula is pretty simple: defining moment happens, decision is made, and a 90-second montage occurs, usually accompanied by inspirational music, and on the other side of that montage is someone finally ready to fight the villain, or the weight loss transformation is complete. An expert is made, a hero newly-forged.
We’ve all seen it in many of our favorite films. And what that does to us, sometimes, is taking the glitter off of what they DID, and shine a light on THAT MOMENT OF CLARITY. That big moment, that moment of clarity, while of course important, is really just a tiny fraction of what legitimately created that great success.
That success was created by the things in that montage, the hard work. It’s truly about the little decisions and daily habits. John C. Maxwell, celebrated author and leadership expert, says he can watch someone for one day and tell you whether or not they will be a success in life. He’s not psychic, he just knows the power of daily habits. He only needs 24 hours with someone, and that’s very telling. Because it’s all about time.
Time is either going to be your greatest ally or your fiercest nightmare. The little decisions never seem like a big deal in the moment, but every small decision adds up. That’s why consistency is key to building momentum, and pretty soon you'll have a real life montage.
Now for something you’ve HEARD: the definition of success. Have you been asked “how do you define success?” at some unwitting job interview? You’ve probably prepared an answer for that very question, and used it. Roman philosopher Seneca said that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”, and Zig Ziglar updated the quote by saying “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”
Here’s the reality, however:
Most people don’t know how to identify opportunity. And most people definitely don’t understand what preparedness means.
Here’s what opportunity looks like: EVERYTHING. Yes, everything is an opportunity. Most people think the BIG BREAK is the opportunity. A great example actually comes from the movie Creed, part of the Rocky franchise. Young boxer Creed has a big opportunity to fight in a heavyweight bout. But rewind the movie back, and you'll see what the REAL opportunity was: to train with Rocky. If he hadn’t taken the opportunity then, he wouldn’t have been ready for this larger opportunity. He sought out Rocky, trained with him, learned from him, allowed him to be a mentor – so when the big opportunity came, he was prepared for success, BECAUSE he didn’t allow the small opportunity to be missed.
Most people are blowing these small opportunities in their daily lives. As Creed vehemently pursues Rocky, he’s chasing down success. A lot of people bemoan the fact that these large, heavyweight-sized opportunities don’t seem to show up in their lives. But they’re never taking advantage of the small opportunities that can lead to them.
We tend to look at these larger moments in our lives as these turning points that will define the larger narrative of our major successes in life. But every small decision that you make that brings you closer to your goal. THAT’S opportunity. You can’t be ready for the big until you’ve learned to tackle and master the small.
And now let’s talk about preparedness. Please get out of your mind that preparedness is just about studying, that it’s just about reading books or listening to TedTalks or podcasts on success. Preparedness can be summed up in one word: ACTION. You PREPARE by TAKING ACTION.
You don’t prepare for a prime-time Sunday night football game by merely watching some game film. You have to act. You need to be in the weight room. You need to be on the field running plays, you have to actually be DOING something. Intentions don’t pay you anything.
I’ll say that again: Intentions don’t pay you anything. They can make you feel good. They can fake you out at times. But intentions, when not ACTED UPON, lead to nothing tangible in life. You can think about things all you want, but if you’re not putting things in motion, where are you actually GOING?
I didn’t say it wouldn’t be difficult. I said that you’ve got NO CHANCE of achieving your dreams of TOMORROW, if your habits of TODAY aren’t in line with them. PREPAREDNESS is ACTION. John C. Maxwell should be able to observe your day and get pretty excited for you when you tell him your dreams of tomorrow.
So start creating your montage with these daily decisions. You’ll love the end of the montage, and a positive attitude while chasing your dreams is the perfect theme music.