I like TV as much as anyone. Probably. I especially love the dramas whose characters are specialists. Characters who are clearly the go-to, knows-what’s-going-on expert in their particular arena. My favorites are shows like Lie to Me, Bones and Leverage. Anyway – I absolutely love them. When I discover a new one, it would not surprise my husband at all to find me binge watching it. (Hulu and Amazon Prime are great for this!) He’s pretty sure that I love them so much because I secretly want to be some sort of expert authority myself. I’m pretty sure he’s right.
And they make me feel like people can have super powers. I love the idea that people can be really amazing at something. Like really, really awe-inspiring amazing. And so I love the shows where people like this do their thing.
I feel like at this point I need to qualify the rest of what I’m about to say. Don’t worry – I know what happens on the TV is not what happens in real life. I am very aware that these are the TV version of people…the fictionalized, quick, everything-is-well defined-and-never-confusing-for-long, makes-a-fun-to-experience-story version. I know the similarity to real life is well…minimal. That being said – I’ve realized something that’s a part of real life that is never included in these shortened, pretend lives…people sitting around. There’s not really any time-wasting happening of any sort in these shows. And there are lots of things that happen in every day life that are left out of these stories – like laundry for instance. It’s boring and unimportant to the storyline. I think the lack of sitting around, however, is more significant. The fact that nonexistent is actually important to the storyline. People being lazy would drive us crazy.
Characters that sit around, relaxing away their talent or life would irritate us to no end. Once we knew what a character was good at, what they wanted, where their life was headed, we’d want them to do something about it. And if they didn’t – if they kept saying what they were going to do, or what they wanted to do and never did it- well, we’d start to hate the character. They’d become the annoying one, the one you’re not pulling for. The one you don’t really care about and the one you wish would stop getting in the way of the characters who are doing something.
Like I said, I know in these shows everything is sped up, and faked in a way to feel easy and yet important. But! I’m convinced that even with its fakeness, there is a truth here that has significance for our real lives too.
Let’s look at this:
1) We’re annoyed with pretend characters who sit around wanting and wishing and don’t act.
2) We sit around wanting and wishing and don’t act. (At least I do. Tell me I’m not the only one.)
And…we’re not annoyed with ourselves. At least not enough to cause a change in behavior.
Let’s stick with real life now. People who are experts – who are what I admire – they do the work. They take action, over and over. They take steps toward whatever their big goal is. Over and over again they show up and they do the work. They choose the work over other things…like watching TV or shopping or reading People Magazine.
This is particularly poignant to me because I’m in the process of starting a business. Maybe two businesses. I’m still figuring out if its possible to somehow combine photography and coaching. I’m not sure. I have all these ideals I’d like to do, to achieve, and to maintain. And yet I can get stuck in the wanting stage. Unfortunately, wanting a certain kind of job doesn’t do much for the résumé. Wanting to be bilingual doesn’t get me very far when talking to a Spanish speaker.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself I want to write, I’m making the wrong choice by not writing. And then I find something else to do.
I love talking with people about their goals and their dreams and then helping them figure out what they can do to make them reality. I’m good at taking big, huge, seemingly insurmountable tasks and making them doable. And yet, I don’t always use that skill on myself.
If I were a character in a show I love, I’d have lost interest in my story by now. I’d be annoyed with myself for not taking action.
It’s funny that this has come clear to me recently while watching TV of all things. Sitting around doing anything but taking action. Sometimes insight finds you wherever you are. Take it where you can get it.
I’ve got this poster hanging by my desk now.
What is it that you want? Are you doing the work? Want to talk about how to get started? Shoot me an email (sarah at sarahbudd dot com) and we can talk about some options.