Movies usually succeed without much effort in what the self-help books so desperately try to achieve. They make us think about ourselves and others and the many ways we can change our approach to life and its never ending stream of obstacles. They provide us with the ingredients of personal growth without making the whole thing feel like a school project you were supposed to return by the end of semester but never really managed to pull yourself together to get it done.
I often suffer from a serious lack of productivity, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I believe we've all been in that awful state between total laziness and anxiety, where we feel almost overwhelmed by how much we need to do but we just don't seem to be able to get anything done. The next time you find lack of productivity creeping up on you, try these five simple things:
1. Rid yourself of the things you don't need
I bow to those who can abandon the luxuries of modern life and go all "Yoda". The Jedi Master lived in a simple swamp hut after the battle with the Emperor was lost, and he truly enjoyed his way of life. He did not turn into a simple-minded hermit. He was still capable of having a laugh and imparting wisdom to the next generation.
I'd like to think that I lead a fairly simple life already but I think sometimes it's good for all of us to take a moment and think, whether or not we really need all the technology and gadgets we have in our possession.
2. Prioritize your health
Have you noticed how there is not a single person out of shape in any of the action films? Even in Star Wars you see all these seemingly old men in long beards jumping out of spaceships and wielding their light sabers. Don't worry, I'm not saying that the lesson here is to become as fit as a Jedi. But I do think the other-worldly abilities of the Jedi are a good reminder of the power of sickness. In case you haven't really noticed before, when your body is in pain, your mind loses its power. That's why we tend to sleep so much when we're tormented by fever or pretty much any other type of illness; our body uses all the available energy to heal itself so there's none left for the mind.
So if you value your mind or just your general ability to function properly, take good care of yourself every day.
3. Rest when you have nothing to do
One of my friends recently reminded me of this one scene in The Phantom Menace, where one of the Jedi is fighting against Darth Maul. During the battle, one of the transparent doors closes, dividing the two. While the villain paces about restlessly, the Jedi sits down and waits. If purely measured by entertainment value, that particular moment earns no more than a long yawn. But if you keep your mind open, you might just learn this: sometimes it's really freaking nice to just sit down and not move a muscle! It's very easy to forget this in the modern society. We tend to feel obliged to stress, be anxious and seek for "purpose" - nonstop. This feeling of obligation can easily overwhelm us, and that only slows us down. How productive do you think you'll feel then?
4. Give and you'll gain
Everything happens for a reason on the silver screen. Yoda dies for a reason, Han Solo is captured for a reason...everything happens for a reason. The same applies to real life, although sometimes we might find it hard to believe because of all the bad things that happen to us and our loved ones. But just as bad things happen in cycles, so do good things. Our attitude has such a great power over our daily life. If we try our best to stay optimistic and embrace the obstacles along with the people we meet with a positive attitude, eventually the smiles and the kind words we give come to a full circle.
5. Be open-minded
Next time you find yourself in the middle of an argument or a tough choice, try to open your mind to the possibility that you might not be right. We are very determined to stick with our own ways and opinions but this often makes us blind to something better that's right in front of us. If your solution seems to only make the problem or the obstacle you’re facing worse, it's probably not the right one.
I don't know about you but suddenly I feel very productive...