Life (Or Something Like It)

For whatever reason, I started thinking about the Angelina Jolie movie “Life or Something Like It” today. If you’ve never seen it, Jolie plays a reporter who interviews a homeless psychic man (played by Tony Shalhoub) who tells her that her life has no meaning and that she’s going to die in a week. At first she doesn’t believe him, but after a couple of his predictions come true, she realizes that he might be right about her impending death. Blah blah blah, fast forward to the end, and the psychic’s prediction may or may not come true (I won’t spoil it for anyone who actually feels compelled to rent it or something.)

Even though the movie wasn’t great, it pops into my head every now and then because it makes me think, not what I would do if I were given a week to live (that will be a post for a different day), but what I can do today to change my life. The movie’s tagline was, “Destiny is what you make of it,” which is something that I’ve been hearing a lot lately from various sources. It also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

If destiny is what you make of it, what destiny have I made for myself? As I mentioned in previous posts, I have a problem with thinking too negatively and not recognizing the good in my life. I tell myself I’m not smart enough, not good enough, whatever, and end up suffering for it.

So, on top of thinking about “Life or Something Like It,” I went to see “the Help” with my mother today. In the movie, as in the book, Aibileen (Viola Davis) tells the little girl Mae Mobley, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” Grammar aside, the weight of Aibileen’s words really hit me. If I told myself everyday that I am smart/important/successful/prosperous/whatever, how would that change my destiny? I’ve talked about the importance of affirmations, especially the importance of keeping them in the present tense. If I gave myself an affirmation a day, and lived my life (theoretically) like it were my last, how much different would things be? Would I take more risks, pursue jobs and opportunities I may have believed I wasn’t qualified enough for?

What is the life I want for myself? And how do I go about creating it?

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