Pen Your Movie

What are the elements of your story?

I finished reading Donald Miller’s latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, yesterday evening. Having been approached to turn one of his works into a movie, the author takes an unexpected and winding journey through his own life. Miller’s trademark self-examination revolves around the central theme of a screenplay, a medium he must understand in order to effectively contribute to making the film.

Conflict, it turns out, is the driving force behind movement. Moviegoers crave a sense of resolution and feel cheated if they are unable to identify the progression a character makes from one scene to the next. On some level, their brains recognize a threat in each act and are therefore able to rejoice in the protagonist’s triumph at the end.

Life imitates art.

Day by day, we are faced with choices about everything–what to wear and where to go to lunch and who to talk to. The decisions we make shape a narrative woven into the fabric of time. Each of us plays a role in the larger history being written, as our actions affect people outside ourselves.

All that we accomplish and leave unfinished is observed by an audience we take for granted.

Our family and friends and coworkers see what we do and say, assimilating our example into their own tales. Just like visitors to the local theater, they notice what we’re up against and the manner in which we handle things.

How you treat people?

What motivates you?

Do you decide to quit?

Your legend is the accumulation of what is seen by everyone you know.

We are given the opportunity to compose our own eulogy.

At the end of your life, what will people say?

Grab a pen and write it for them.

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