“The more space and emptiness you can create in yourself, then you can let the rest of the world come in and fill you up.” – Jeff Bridges
We’re all to some extent the sum of our experiences and how we’ve learned to handle those situations. You could say that we’ve been programmed to respond in certain ways. The bad news is that these programs don’t always return the desired results. The good news is that we can change them,
Some accept things as they are and aren’t really concerned with changing things. Others might turn to self-help books, psychology, hypnosis, religion or exercise.
There’s this thing that happens on our journey. We let go of things, people and situations that we’ve identified with for so long that we think that it defines who we are.
When we let go of them there’s this thought that comes up: So now what?
It feels like there’s this emptiness and sometimes it can lead us to think about the really hard question: “Who am I?”
So let’s look at ourselves like a computer. We’ve had all this input code (good & bad experiences) that’s been the basis of our output, how we act and react. We’ve found an apparent bug in the code (fear, anger, sadness etc.) and decided to take it out. There’s this empty space looking back at us and the code needs us to put something else in to run the program. What do we want there instead? Acceptance? Forgiveness? Excitement? Love?
For a long time we can run this program and do a lot of things that we want to do. It’s this driving force that leads us to these amazing places in life. But then it happens. We start to question our motives and ourselves. Are we just doing this to get the attention and love we want from others or do we do it for the love we feel just by doing what we do?
Basically: Are our motives extrinsic or intrinsic?
Let’s say you’ve been writing and performing music since you were a kid and always got praised for it. You keep on riding on that wave until one day in your mid 20’s people aren’t that interested and it isn’t “cute” anymore. They start asking: “When are you going to get a real job?”.
Your whole identity has come from being the “musician”. You find yourself questioning who you are without that label and how you can keep getting the love and praise.
This is what sometimes happens with athletes when they retire. They sense this void and don’t really know what to do with themselves, all their life’s been about this sport. So now what?
We need to take a step back and ask a few questions:
1. Is there anything in this thing that I love for its own sake? For example: writing music, singing, performing, recording, seeing new places, meeting people?
2. Are the skills i’ve picked up along the way applicable in related or other fields i’m interested in? For example: Author, teacher, programmer, consultant, coach, chat show host?
3. Am I interested in new skills or going back to school? In that case what would I like to learn?
I’ve gotten the advice to ask for counsel from friends and family since they have a good eye for what you’re good at. There is a caveat. They do, for good reasons, want you to pick the safest and most economically sound professions. There’s nothing wrong with doing a job you mildly enjoy and are good at for a while but don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that you’re out of the woods. You still need to find the next thing that excites you! Maybe you’ll turn out to be the next big foley artist?
Gary Hecker – Foley Artist
I’m looking forward to seeing the movie “The Giver” and Jeff Bridges being in it I decided to let him have a few quotes here!
“Whenever I work on a part, I look at the world through the filter of the character and I pick things they might use through my observations of real life.”
“You prep, you prep, you prep. And on the day that you film, you let all of that go. I try to achieve emptiness as much as possible – the Zen thing – to let the deal come out of that nothing.”
“Live like you’re already dead, man. Have a good time. Do your best. Let it all come ripping right through you.”
“If you open your heart, then the object of your love becomes so precious because you are so open. And that philosophy, that caring, spreads.”