Creating our own cinematic masterpiece
A great movie requires strong cooperation of an effective producer and visionary director. With mutual respect and freedom, they will complement each other to create a product that pushes the boundaries of experience while remaining firmly rooted in reality.
A lack of balance will result in a disastrous outcome, as a movie:
With a great producer, but a poor director will have sufficient funding, a strong screenplay, a well-run production and an effective marketing campaign. However, without a visionary director to breathe life into the story, the film will lie flat on the screen.
With a great director, but a poor producer will be filled with skill and compelling scenes that can steal our imagination. However, without an effective producer to keep production rooted in the reality, the film may never be completed as it becomes too expensive, delayed or difficult to follow to warrant any further investment.
Our lives are much the same. We must develop and embrace both our inner producer and inner director to step above obscurity and create our own cinematic masterpiece.
Our inner producer lays the foundation of our movie. The producer ensures we spend the currency of our lives (time) efficiently, preventing budget overages. He also ensures we have the right mix of talent and skills to execute the movie effectively, preventing oversight of a critical area of production.
Anything of lasting value stands on a solid foundation. Our foundation is built by using our time efficiently and effectively to satiate all of our basic needs, such as prosperity, love, belonging, intimacy, safety, health and respect. All needs must be met for the foundation to stand firmly.
Since our time is a scarce and finite resource, wasting our time or over-investing it in any basic need will create a deficit in another basic need, leaving us with a shaky foundation. Unbalanced investment can lead to burn-out, isolation from others, lack of intimacy, poor mental, physical or financial health and feelings of worthlessness.
Investment in our basic needs is subject to the law of diminishing returns as each additional moment invested beyond meeting our minimum need will yield a progressively lower return. For example, each moment we spend earning a dollar that moves us closer to financial safety feels far better than a moment spent earning a dollar beyond our safety level.
A solid foundation is built on the discovery of the minimum we require to meet our basic needs and develop the discipline to stick to it.
Our inner director visualizes and manifests the creative vision of our movie. The director dares us to venture into new worlds and dive into the unknown. He embraces cutting edge techniques and inspires the cast and crew to reach beyond their abilities.
Anything of lasting value is simultaneously timeless and "of this moment". Our vision is brought to life by giving our director freedom to dream. We must open ourselves up to his inspiration and be willing to leap with him into the unknown to test our potential.
Giving freedom to our director is scary. We know there will be consequences as our bets will not always pay off. A movie without vision or risk can be "nice", but will never be a masterpiece.
Our inner director wants to create a masterpiece or nothing at all. Therefore, he will refuse to participate in our movie unless we give him freedom to embrace passion and take risks.
The legendary director knows that genius is created during the primary process of following their passion, not by secondary result of the outcome. Temporary setbacks are par for the course, and are crucial to building the necessary skills and experience for taking even greater risks and falling even further. Our greatness is measured by the height of our jumps, not the height of our falls -- that is as long as we get back up and jump again.
Cultivating our visionary process gives us the confidence that we can rise again and dare to jump even higher, regardless of how much pain we endured during our last fall.
Our inner producer needs our inner director to make life interesting, compelling and meaningful -- to deliver the vision. Our inner director needs our inner producer to give us a solid foundation to jump from and a soft foundation to fall back to -- to tether us to reality.
Both must be embraced and encouraged to live a lasting life of joy.