A product of choices or the victim of circumstances?

Ever analysed the scripts of most of the really inspiring movies made? If you notice, they have some fairly similar elements with regards to the circumstances & the situations that the main character goes through:

  1. Plain living, just passing time (in a mundane or painful life circumstance)
  2. An inspiration that the character really wants to work for
  3. Failures after failure & maybe some tragedy too
  4. Pre-Climax – A difficult choice which the character makes
  5. Climax – Repercussions of the choices – some bad & some really good
  6. Success, success, success – Happy endings!

No, I’m not trying to script a movie out here but wanting you to focus on the pre-climax: the choices made in light of the circumstances. (Though I think I should try writing a script too at least once in my life, if not too often. The what ifs of my life!)

The other day I watched Ellen DeGeneres’s thanking you episode for the 20th anniversary of her coming out as gay. It certainly wasn’t an easy choice for her to publicly announce her sexual orientation. For someone who was at the peak of her career, this decision of hers brought her down to almost no work for more than 3 years! But if one looks back now, over the past two decades, acceptance of LGBTQ people has steadily increased, and millions of people around the world have found the courage to come out on their own, while many being saved from self harm or society’s harm because of this orientation. Even if it didn’t feel like it at the time, DeGeneres’ bravery, and choice to do so, in 1997 played a role in all of it.

“You are responsible for so much of that changing,” Oprah Winfrey tells DeGeneres in the interview with her post the coming out. “You were the bravest woman ever.”

To which Ellen responds with something really profound:

“We’re not supposed to be like somebody else,” DeGeneres says. “We’re not supposed to act like somebody else. As long as you stay true to exactly who you are, you will be rewarded in ways that you can’t imagine.”

Ellen took it upon herself to turn things around post the lull period of 3 years & wrote The Ellen Show – a show which has won a total of 38 Daytime Emmy Awards, with DeGeneres winning the People’s Choice Award for “Favourite Daytime TV Host” 14 times till date! Not to forget mentioning – in 2016, Ellen also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Certainly not a product of her circumstances, but her own courageous choices.

As much as we undervalue this concept, it is one of the most important lessons one must learn – You are the architect of your life. The way you visualise your life and work for it, is the way it turns out to be.

These people that we see celebrated day in & day out didn’t get there through plain luck or just instances which happened to them. They rose to that greatness by always choosing what they believed was right while the society around, the tough circumstances, always tried to pull them back.

Life isn’t a bed of roses.

Neither is it the gala musical of great tragedy thankfully.

It is a certain mix of circumstances which test your will.

The will to take up tough choices which will help you grow.

Choices which will test your resilience, your grit, your patience.

Choices that will turn the world upside down, but be the most instrumental in turning your story into one of the greatest life stories for humankind.

 

Life also offers you the path to oblivion.

Wherein you let what’s happening to you keep happening to you.

Despite the fact that you loathe it the most.

Despite the fact that you find it frustrating to the core that your peers are doing better but not you.

Despite the fact that you are hurt each day by the acts of those around you.

Despite the fact that you are inspired almost each day & often come across a window of opportunity which you pass – often always.

 

Life isn’t at fault. It is our choices.

We are made for greatness. Whoever you are & wherever you are – your dreams matter. And the fact that you make them happen makes you an invaluable character in the story of mankind.

But would you take those choices to make them happen?

It won’t be easy. They’ll tough. They’ll be against the society’s view of normal. They’ll be the costliest – in terms of money, in terms of your time and probably also at times in terms of your relationships. But in the end, it’ll be your story – something you’ll be really proud of.

“In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”

Go write your script – we’re waiting to read it, waiting to experience your greatness.

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