Years ago I remember meeting a girl at one of my events. I remember driving her home and I asked her what she was doing and what was next for her in her life. She passionately told me her life was a “live” film. She was living out a great improvised real life movie and she didnt know what would happen as the adventure and plot were always unfolding before her. She informed me that I now had a role in her film, a fellow actor playing a part in her life’s stage set. We were “live” being filmed right there and then.
I’ve always thought about her point of view on life since then. It echoes Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” I probably wouldnt recommend the improv part and advise planning a bit of a plot line. I’m not sure your film will come out well if its reckless. But as in the filming of all great movies sometimes the plot gets rewritten on set and changes happen during production.
I was reminded of this when I was reading Steve Jobs’ Sister’s Eulogy to him in the New York Times. She said: “We all – in the end – die ‘in medias res.’ In the middle of a story. Of many stories.”
We actually come into the play or film of Life in the middle of the story. Its not OUR story, its everyones story. We act out our part until our scenes are all played out. We exit stage left. Inevitably we will leave some things behind after bowing out. Unresolved and continuing plot lines that must be played out without us. WE end, but the story is influenced and carries on with our mark.
I often ask people what their Legacy is. I mostly get blank confused looks. Usually I have to explain what having a Legacy means. I’m surprised as to how many give little thought to how they’ll be remembered, especially when they are young. It seems to be forgotten more and more as we become a disposable based society too busy consuming to see the big picture.
As an actor in this grand play you have to ask yourself what is your legacy, the imprint of your role that will indelibly leave the story and fellow actors with an improved plot. Can you do a better job in your acting to increase the quality of the overall story? Maybe you brought some new actors to the play but did you improve the overall story for everyone?
Whats your Legacy? How will the overall stories of everyone and the people close to you be influenced by the roles you played out. How will people remember the role you played? Were you good or evil? Did you make a difference for the better? Were you a weak character who cowered against evil or one who stood up for goodness and positiveness? Where you a hero?
All my life I’ve asked what my Legacy is that I’ll leave behind as I’ve built my life and business’. As an Entrepreneur I build from the mindset, that what I make will hopefully live onward past me. People will say “Chris Voss built that.”
Its not too late to improve the quality of your role, you still have scenes left. Dont just improve your “scene.” Improve the whole story. Give it the best performance you can and something people will remember you positively by.
Click for Steve Job’s Sister’s Eulogy.