Do you ever feel stuck – like you just can’t quite make it to the finish line? This can happen for a number of reasons – your plan wasn’t well thought through – your perfectionism has stopped you – you don’t see the big picture or you can’t break down the details – or maybe you never had a goal to begin with.
The one thing I try to do whenever I think about embarking on a project is to define my end goal – “What are my expectations?” When I make myself think about my end goal, it forces me to clearly define it. This allows me to assess my underlying motivations, cut out the chaff and move forward to stay on target and reach the finish line.
Sounds simple, but the problems arise when I let other people sidetrack me from my original goal. For example: when I was working on the trailer for Opening Our Eyes, I posted my work in progress on Vimeo and shared it with friends and colleagues. Many people offered up advice and solutions according to how they wanted to see the story to unfold. Some suggested that my daughter and I (the filmmakers) should be more present in the trailer and in the film itself. Some thought we shouldn’t be in it at all. At one point I started to incorporate everyone’s suggestions and ended up with a trailer that was neither here nor there. I had lost sight of my own end goal and I needed to step back from the edit, the technology and the influence and ask myself “What is it I’m trying to say?”
Well intentioned people in our life can easily distract us from our own purpose and before you know it you’re not living the life you are meant to live and you can’t understand why you’re not getting anywhere. When this has happened in my life’s journey, it’s usually taken something “bad” or “good” to take place, that stops me in my tracks and makes me step back from the noise and ask myself “What is my end goal? – Where is it I’m trying to get to?” I don’t always have a clear answer but at least I’ve taken notice of the question.
I think that’s the key – to take notice of how you’re living your life and if you are on the right path. Goals come and go and it’s all those little unexpected surprises that life throws at you that determine the outcome. We can’t control everything in our lives but we can take notice of where we are going and ask ourselves “Is that the destination we are bound for?”