Incoming message from Tie Fighter: How rituals can enrich your life.
I love watching movies of all kinds. Dramas, mysteries, romance films alike.
To me the best ones are action movies from the golden era. That is, the 80’s and 90’s.
They left a great impression on me as a kid, and more importantly taught me a lot of valuable lessons. It may sound cheesy, but to an impressionable child every memorable scene was a master class on life itself.
Among the greatest of scenes of all were the training montages. (Like this beauty.)
The lesson I took from them was simple: If you are going to go anywhere with style, it is through hard work.
Easy to say? Yes.
Easy to do?
Let’s put it this way.
There is a reason why no montages will show Arnie or Sly sitting around reloading their Netflix queue or pumping their other gun.
Discipline and focus will get you very far. Very far indeed.
Sometimes you need an extra boost. Sometimes you need to attack your to-do list from another angle.
If you are struggling with focus, maybe it is time to start treating tasks as rituals.
Rituals make each moment sweeter and better, like a montage.
Rituals make the pain of training go away, and turn brain strain into soft rain.
Rituals keep us living in the present- Which is to say they keep us alive.
These are the rules of the ritual:
One: There is no definitive guide to rituals.
A free mind is an open one. I may give you tools, but only you get to decide which ideas to nourish and cultivate. I can assist, but only you can assert.
These are my rules of rituals. Only you know what a ritual means to you.
Two: Feel EVERY second.
Remember to that one time in your life when every second was precious.
Immerse yourself with that feeling. Hold it in your mind.
The same wonder a child feels on his first bicycle lap around the block.
The same heightened awareness given to each bodily sense during intimacy.
The same care and precision that a performer places on a big performance.
Recall that feeling.
Hold it, and seek to apply it to every task of everyday.
Three: Slow down.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu
Forget the so called merits of multi-tasking. Leave for one moment the notion of short-cuts.
Do what you’ve set out to do. It starts with one step, rep, and word at a time.
Ironically the more you try to speed, the slower and poorer your work becomes.
The rich do not rush. Deliberation in action is liberation.
Four: Free yourself from the clock.
Stare as you may, the hands of time do not hand you time.
The best work is done when your mind is concentrated on the task at hand.
Turn off the phone and put down the watch. Watch your work instead of phoning it in.
Lose yourself in the stream of creative thought. The focus then becomes the fun, and the zone the zest.
Absolute enjoyment is literally timeless.
Five: Take inspiration from the outside.
Quotes, books, and movies exist for your education.
Here is one example of a ritual in action from The Last Samurai:
Your life is best entertainment you will ever have.
When you succeed your life will be an inspiration to all others.
Just like Sly and Arnold.
Remember, you are the producer of the most excellent story ever told.
If you yearn to learn, you’ll learn to earn.
Until next ritual.