One characteristic I appreciate about Christopher Nolan’s directorial style is that he respects the audience’s intelligence.
While so many movies are recycled sequels or targeted to drunken partiers, it’s refreshing to find a filmmaker who thinks more of his viewers, rather than less. So I recently ponied up a wad of cash to go to the cinema (I even paid nighttime rates!) and watched a heady sci-fi flick called “Interstellar.”
No spoiler alerts, but the butler did it. (Just joking.) Anyway, to sum up the film in the space I’m allotted in this column would be nearly as improbable as some of the concepts outlined in the story. Yet the main gist involves Matthew McConaughey and crew seeking out a new planet for humanity to call home via multi-dimensional, time-shifting space travel. I warned you: heady.
If you’re into sci-fi, it’s a great use of three-hours and, with the exception of some doubts I share with astrophysicist/celeb Neil deGrasse Tyson about traveling through black holes, the story is tight. (Of course, I’m pretty sure Mr. Tyson is not even aware that we share said concerns, but I’m certain he’d be delighted by my support.)
Anyhoo, I bring this to the conversation because the story reminded me that — although not as extremely as are the characters in the film —we’re all moving through time.
For us however, it’s limited to one direction and we are not given the ability to jump dimensions and re-chart former decisions we now regret.
Moreover, since the new year is rapidly approaching and January is ground zero for us to be inundated with reminders to make resolutions, I am jumping the gun to share a unique take on how to create that new you. Every year well-intended folks who espouse resolutions tell us to focus on positive actions, such as “I will go to bed at 10:00” or “I will use less salt.” Equally true, every year, somewhere north of 80 per-cent of people give up on their goals within their first three weeks. Something is obviously off-kilter.
That system is flawed because, firstly, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you’ve arrived?”
In other words, how can I be sure I’ve changed if I don’t have a specific, solid, clear image of what that transformation looks like? Resolving some-thing like, “I will stress less,” “I’ll exercise more,” or “I’ll follow my diet;” are all fine and good, but too vague. After all, if I smile one extra time come January, does that mean I’m “happier” or if I take an additional walk, do I get to check off the box: “More exercise”?
A better way to accomplish goals is to start by asking yourself, “Suppose I had already become the Me I want to be, what would my life look like?” As an example, my Future Me would eat smaller portions in a more conscious manner; cut off late night binges; focus more on completing tedious tasks; use less salt; drink more water; read more often; and go to bed earlier. Your Future You might or might not look similar, but it’s essential to picture him or her in as much detail as possible — and to do it of-ten.
Then, regularly pause “Current You” and ask of yourself:
“If Future Me were here, what he or she be doing right now in these circumstances?” Next, ask yourself, “Am I doing that?”
Should the answer be negative, adjust the present-day moment to match the future version of you. Ta-da! Simple!What’s cooler is, if you repeat this activity several times a day, eventually your answer becomes “Yes,” more times than “No.”