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Saturday, April 11, 2009

This I Believe


So I was listening to NPR the other day, as I am wont to do, and I heard the very last installment of their This I Believe series. It was Muhammad Ali talking about what he believes about life. It was fascinating. And I thought - how interesting, making a statement about what you believe is like writing a mission statement, isn't it? And a mission statement is a bit like a great logline isn't it? It's a very core, fundamental statement about your script.

Long time Wavers know I tend to harp on the fact that screenwriting is only one kind of writing and that you should develop the muscles and the skills to write for other mediums. Short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, first person essays - well, how about we get a two-fer today?

How about Wavers write a 100-word This I Believe Statement and submit it to the comments section here? It's a way to think about and focus on your core values and beliefs but with a strict word limit. The word limit - just like in writing a great logline - forces you to distill your thoughts into the most powerful expression possible. And here's the two-fer part - as you do this, you'll revisit and reinforce what your core values and beliefs are. In a busy, busy world we don't check in with ourselves often enough and ground ourselves in what we really believe to be true of ourselves and this life. There's just so much noise and distraction. But if we don't check in with why we're here on this planet, then we're chucking the guidebook out the window.

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ, but as a metaphor, it celebrates the possibilities of rebirth and new paradigms. Passover celebrates freedom from adversity and new beginnings. So it seems appropriate on this Easter and Passover holiday to take a moment to do an uplifting writing exercise that reinforces who we really are and what we hold dear.

So here's my This I Believe:

I believe that happiness is not about stuff or achievements, but a feeling of well-being. I believe that knowing the universe is fundamentally good is the only thing you need to know for sure. I believe there are no mistakes, accidents or wrongs that won’t unfold into grace down the road. I believe that grace is where courage, wisdom and laughter meet. I believe in being nice to people. I believe in playing more and worrying less. I believe we are the writers, directors and producers of our lives and that we tell the story we want to be in.

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14 comments:

hudsonrivercreative said...

I believe this was a very uplifting inspirational piece Julie.

Happy holiday to you and your family.

Peace,
Diane

jcarends said...

I believe life is a gift from God, that heaven on earth is best discovered in the arms of loved ones, and that a rich life is rooted in generosity. I believe happiness is best achieved by tapping into that small piece of the Infinite each of us, and every creature, carries within. I believe in the healing power of grace, in the balm of a belly laugh, and in the power of words to sing to the collective soul…and change the world. I believe that love is more powerful than hate, but that hate has the better publicist.

jcarends said...

P.S. Happy Easter and Passover blessings, Julie, and to one and all...

PAX,

John

Josh Elliott said...

I believe in helping people before helping myself. I was taught to and believe in random acts of kindness. It fills the universe with goodness in ways we can't yet physically see. I believe that when I borrow something from a friend it should be given back in better condition than when it was first borrowed. I believe love is fragile and that someday EVERYONE will understand that.

Trina0623 said...

I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience in order to learn who we really are. Hopefully, learning will come through the experience of loving, sharing laughter, lending a helping hand, exploring a place you’ve never been, experiencing the thrill of doing something challenging and accomplishing a goal. And sometimes learning involves disappointment - even losing someone you loved. But at the end of the day, you’re doing what you were meant to do and this too shall pass so you keep the faith and wait for the next joyous moment to arrive. And it always will.

chaia said...

Last night during my bizillionth time reading the answer to "Why is this night different from all other nights," as I was simultanously contemplating also for the bizillionth time how intensely OCD Judaism can be - something blew my little mind. That something was that if we had not escaped slavery, everything would have been different. Not just Jews' lives, but THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WORLD would have been different. BLEW MY LITTLE MIND, MAN, and we were only on the first cup of wine.

I believe in the power of collective vision. This is not all I believe, but it is a large part, and it serves me in all my work, and work is my deepest joy. Thanks for posting this.

mira said...

I believe we create the world that is around us. A combination of my thoughts, wishes and beliefs and your thoughts, wishes and beliefs shapes the world into the place we know.

Trusting now that all is well and all is as should be, I believe that I get glimpses, moments of awareness that I have a deeper knowledge of things, people and events on my path. I believe that as our awareness and consciousness opens up, we connect with each other’s true selves - there is the essence of our true powers. On this plane we live our best lives.

Lisa said...

I believe chocolate cake served up with a glass of cold milk can heal any wound. I believe in the real world character arc; that humans are capable of great change and deserving of second chances in the end. I believe in laughing so hard that your sister starts choking and you hurt your back. I believe the people you surround yourself with are a reflection of how you feel about yourself. I believe rubbing a dog’s belly can make you feel as good as it does them. And I believe I’m surrounded by angels and they don’t believe in privacy.

Rachel said...

I believe that this earth is the VIP room of Creation, towards which countless un-bodied souls gaze longingly and wonder what it would be like to live in a world that offers sunrises, books, fresh-baked bread, friendship, Project Runway, early-morning walks, late-night poker games, ice cream, and sex. And I believe it would be a better place if we all reminded ourselves of that fact once in a while.

Joe Public said...

I believe the Contitution of the United States of America is the most important document in the history of man. I believe reaching down to help somebody up is not Socialism, but what God's smile actually looks like. I believe when you take a pet into your home, you promise it a great life, and then hold yourself to your promise. I believe friendship forged by integrity and respect will serve as your sword and shield for a lifetime, so long as you are willing to serve in return.

Anthony Peterson said...

I believe God has hidden himself so that we might seek him.

Dave Shepherd said...

I believe life is random, the villain may not be vanquished, the hero may not be victorious.

I believe that society will judge us on our success, but we should judge ourselves based on our effort.

I believe we can not act for other people, but only for ourselves and we must be accountable for those actions, regardless of consequence.

I believe everyone has free will, but few exercise it.

I believe that we should question inherent values and practices. We should not blindly follow the path laid out before us because it’s obvious.

I believe I’ll succeed.

Désirée said...

I believe that things just are. I believe good and evil are only labels put by men to don’t need to explain why one should act/not act in a certain way. I believe in an immortal soul that is part of a Earth-wide soul. I believe that “God” is this grand soul and therefore we can find the divine within ourselves. I believe that the meaning of life is that we should develop and explore ourselves and our souls. Then when we join the Mother Earth after we die, we have helped the whole world to become a better place.

millar prescott said...

Belief #3.
There is an implied social contract in which the meeting of its terms and conditions falls to the choices we make. Although we share the burden of free will, the responsibility of choice is uniquely our own with the resultant consequences having to be met. Difficult choices will always have to be made, but making the right choice is not difficult when the underlying principal is respect for others. The consequence is dignity for ourselves.