I’ve been sick this week. When I am sick, I spend a lot of time in bed watching my favorite movies that I find comforting and funny. One of my absolute favorite is Julie and Julia. What struck me this time when I was watching the amazing Amy Adams and the incomparable Meryl Streep, is that this movie is based on a true story that is so real. I know a “real” true story sounds redundant, but when was the last time you watched a movie based on a true story that didn’t result in you feeling like the main characters were “heroes.”
Those movies are great for inspiration, but sometimes I just want to see stories about real people with real struggles being real. This is what I love about this story, particularly Julie Powell’s story. What I love about Julie is that she is a near thirty dreaming writer who has let her life distract her from her dreams. This is exactly what life looks like for so many of us.
When we are seeking adventure or looking for life to somehow change, we find ourselves in this situation because we have forgotten how to focus. For anyone who has not seen this film or read Julie Powell’s book, Julie begins a blog where she cooks through Julia Child’s Mastering The Art French Cooking. She describes this process to her mother as just giving her a regimen, “Something to do every day, one day at a time.” Simply by creating this regimen for herself her life end up completely changing within a year.
That may not be the case for you and me, but it reminded me that all adventures typically start with discipline. Discipline is difficult for me. I have a lot of growth yet to do in this area of my life, but often my biggest problem is that I don’t focus. Focusing on one thing or one regimen and putting our effort and energy into that will produce results.
If you are looking for a new adventure, but don’t know where to start, this is where I’d start. Find one thing you want to change and start a regimen for yourself to make that change a reality. If you need inspiration watch this movie, it doesn’t hide the ugly parts about discipline (i.e. it’s really HARD work!) If you know exactly what you want to change about your life, don’t think that it’s going to be an over night change, remember a regimen is a daily activity, so it’s not a quick fix.
I have come to realize that I have a hard time being patient, so it’s important for me to set small short-term goals. When I do that, I can actually see the small adventures in my life that this discipline creates. But if I work only for the adventure I think I want in my life, instead I end up focusing on too many different things. When you try to do too many things you end up not doing any of them well.
So, I chose one thing to focus my energy on changing this coming month. About a month ago I decided I was going to write every day, even by doing this I realize I still go far too long between blog posts. So I am going to commit to a regimen of blogging twice a week. If I blog more great, if not no problem. My goal is to do this for exactly one month. This is my short-term goal.
What do you want to change? What is a good regimen for your short-term goal? I promise this is just one small step in permanent change. If you do nothing else but become a more disciplined person, that will be worth it. If there’s one thing I know discipline is key to living an adventurous life.