One upon a time, I aspired to have a large house complete with a money vault like the one that Scrooge McDuck owned on DuckTales. I fantasized about swimming around in my large pool of gold coins and green dollar bills through a sea of 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s......and then I became an independent filmmaker.
After deciding to shun a possible career in fine arts in favor of what I imagined would be a lucrative future in the movie business (after all, Steven Spielberg makes money), I learned the differences between independent film and studio films and also realized that film is no better than art. It's just a different medium.
Fast forward six years and I have become one of those "filmmakers" who spend more time trying to make ends meet than working on new projects.....all while in the pursuit of ultimate happines in friendship, peace, love and spirituality.
I used to think that if I just had enough money (doesn't it always start that way?....if I just had enough of this or that), I would be able to afford to make movies while also covering all that comes with the cost of living. Now, I think that mastering time management skills can lead to happiness in a variety of ways and am glad that Beth at Word Nerd Speaks reminded me of this when she wrote about the fruits of a money tree buying time from having to deal with obligations that take up time. She is spot on and I think that it's all about applying Theodore Roosevelt's suggestion of "Do What You Can with What You Have Where You Are" effectively to achieve the results that we want in life.
Instead of viewing life as a burden or one's goals as such, using these things as tools to live the life of our dreams can not only be fulfilling but also get us closer to our destination...whatever that may be. Movies are an expense no matter which way we view them....from a filmmaking point of view (read: production costs) and from a consumer's point of view (read: theater tickets; DVD Retail; VOD; Premium cable, etc.) but they can also be just the thing that we need to either get into or remain happy and in a positive state of mind. Here are some ways to use movies as a remedy for some of life's troubles that get you down.
Depression (mild, bummed out depression where your day or week just sucks so bad that you don't want to get out of bed, not clinical depression): You know that saying "laughter is the best medicine"? Well, laughing can be a useful way to feel better if you get depressed or upset so this may be a good time to pop in a DVD or two or three or however many will get you out of your funk.
Watch comedy movies to laugh, which may be one of the quickest solutions to feelings of depression or anxiety. About 15 minutes into the movie, you'll likely forget about what was making you upset in the first place. Do not, however, watch comedies featuring elements that are related to what is making you feel down.
If you have a bad relationship with your in-laws, then a comedy that is unrelated to family issues such as "Anger Management" with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler may be a better choice than watching "Meet the Parents" starring Ben Stiller and Rober DeNiro.
Unfortunate: Do you feel like a bum? A loser? A broke person who just cannot seem to get your financial house in order? If so, it may be useful to remind yourself that there are situations worse than yours that other people are dealing with. Have you ever went a whole day without eating? How about an entire week without food or money to buy any food? If not, be grateful and watch movies that have characters who are dealing with tough circumstances but somehow find a way through it.
These movies will not only make you thankful for what you do have but movies with these types of storylines will likely also motivate you to be a survivor and not feel like life has handed you a bad deck of cards. A few recommendations for movies that do not sugar coat tough times include "Slumdog Millionare," "Cinderella Man" starring Russell Crowe and "Fight" which you could proably relate to since this particular movie is a documentary featuring real stories with people who are going through life just as we all are, trying to figure it all out.
I'll add two additional categories to this list before the weekend is out.
Many of the important things in life such as achieving dreams or goals, having friends and finding love do not cost a dime. However, the tools to maintain these things such as supplies or equipment for creating artwork, telephones for communicating with friends and a radio to dance in the living room with romantic partners (okay, the last one is not exactly a NEED but I'm sure you all get the point) require money because the retail stores and telecommunications companies that offer these tools are not going to provide them to us just off of the basis of our good looks and charm.
The solutions to finding happiness in life seem so simple and easy to obtain, yet money continues to be an issue whether it is necessary to help us find the time for more enjoyable activities or it is necessary to help us avoid whatever fears we have....fear of being poor, fear of being hungry, fear of failure, fear of judgement by others, etc. so maybe in some way, money can buy time but money cannot buy life.
Since the best things in life are free, why are people so unhappy?
If we focus on what makes us happy while taking care of what we need, then maybe we will eventually get what we want.
On Beth's Hushing the Hungry Heart, Cat Muses said that time "is much more precious than money" while Disconnected added "it normally takes the death of someone close for people to realize how precious time is and how temporary money is" and I agree with these comments. After all, if we spend most of our time chasing money every minute of every day, we will likely wake up one day as a senior citizen and wonder where all of our time went.....and we'll still have bills to pay.
Since we can't take money with us when we die, then it's going to get spent anyway whether we have it or we don't and since we only get to live once, we might as well do it in a way that is enjoyable.
I won't be swimming in a vault filled with gold coins or paper money anytime soon but if I learn to use my time wisely, then I will be able to figure out how to do what I enjoy in a way that will also ease financial burdens that take up too much time in my day. By using time to live life to it's fullest, I may be able to stop worrying about money or the lack of it so much and start enjoying what I have, where I am, the best way that I can.
In the meantime, I plan on watching a lot of DVDs and streaming many films on VOD to get me through those gray and cloudy moments....they don't call it ENTERTAINMENT for nothing!
What movies make YOU feel better about life and all that it has to offer?
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