Choices. Choices. And some more choices. So many decisions. So little time.
We all make choices. Every day. All day.
Some are small. Like “should I get a 3,000 calorie frozen, blended coffee or a 5 calorie black coffee.”
Some are big. Like “should I continue sitting in urban rush hour traffic for 5 hours everyday, or should I move to Montana and become a professional fly fisherman.”
But, regardless of the magnitude of the choice. A decision still has to be made.
Two years ago, I made a choice to move (with my wife) from NYC to Los Angeles. I left behind my career as a NYC law firm associate. And, more importantly, I moved far from family and friends. That alone made the decision extremely difficult. I love my family and friends. And, I certainly knew I was going to miss them.
But, I had an itch.
My wife and I knew that we wanted to experience something new. Something different. Something exciting. Life is too short, we thought. Why not go on an adventure, and see where it takes us?
When you are writing a screenplay or creating any type of story, you have a gazillion choices to make. The minute you have a thought in your head, you immediately begin to mentally sort through your choices. Where am I going to set my movie? Modern times or the 13th century? OK. Modern times. Where – Seattle, Boise, Dallas?
Ok. I will set the story in modern Los Angeles. Do I want to highlight the rich and glamorous by setting it in Beverly Hills? Or do I want to show the grittier parts of LA?
Each of those decisions regarding your script will have a huge impact on what kind of story you want to tell.
And, in life, it works the same way. What do you want your story to be? Do you want to make your own choices? Or do you want to let others dictate your life?
Life has the tendency to take on its own trajectory. You graduate high school. Go to college (or not). Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Have a kid or two (or eight). And your choices seem to shrink. And the reason is simple. You have responsibilities. To your wife. To your kids. To your job.
But, I think all of those important aspects of your life will only help you make BETTER choices. You have people and things you care about deeply. So, if you base your decisions on which choice is best – not just for you – but for your wife and kids, then you will almost certainly make the right choice.
You see…a family is not something that restricts choices. It’s the opposite. It’s a unit that serves to nurture your choices. To nurture each other’s choices. And to hopefully get to a decision that benefits you all.
When I moved to LA, that was my thinking. This world is changing everyday. Dramatically. The economy is changing. The traditional job model is changing. So, we have to change with it. And, I knew if I wanted to provide the kind of life that my wife and daughter deserve, I needed to shake things up career-wise. Branch out. Seek wisdom outside the box. And to eventually solidify a career that satisfies me personally, professionally and financially.
When I sit down to write my screenplay today, the first choice I have to make involves the character arc of the story’s protagonist. In other words, I need to decide what viewpoints he initially has, and how those viewpoints will gradually shift as the story unfolds. And by the end of the movie, he will be a different man than when it began.
Thanks for reading, and hopefully you will make the choice to read the rest of my posts!