Less is More Extraordinary – Terminator Salvation
You may be wondering what the movie Terminator Salvation has to do with living an extraordinary life. It’s simple really, when presented with limited options; our choice can be a gateway to the less than ordinary experience of deep appreciation and greater satisfaction.
My husband and I spent the past week at his family’s lake house in the Adirondack Mountains of NY. It was just the two of us taking some much needed time to recharge our batteries. We had little plans other than reading, walking, talking, hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the incredible nature and wildlife that surrounded us. But as Friday rolled around, we thought we’d head into town, mingle with other people and see a movie.
The Strand movie theater in Schroon, NY has one screen. It plays one movie a week and has 3 showings – Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. This weekend, it was Terminator Salvation.
I have always had a belief that more possibilities are better. It helps us to feel less trapped and more in control of where our lives are heading. But that belief was challenged this week at the movies. There I was, making the choice to see a movie I otherwise wouldn’t have (summer blockbuster action films are typically not my thing). Yet I can say I was truly happy in the theater watching Terminator Salvation and enjoying myself more than I would have had I had my choice of 16 different movies playing at 5 local theaters, at my choices of at least 100 different show times throughout the day.
Why was this I wondered? And then it hit me – sometimes less really is more. With all those choices typically in front of us, we have to make the perfect choice – that’s what all those options imply is attainable, right? We can’t be happy unless it’s the right theater, the right time and the right movie.
But I noticed sitting there at the Strand that night how the limit of choice allowed me to fully appreciate the little things about the experience. The friendly projectionist who also sold us our tickets, the $1 bottle of water, the restored art deco interior, the old piano up by the screen left over from the days of silent films, the conversations amongst us movie-goers (aka strangers) as we left the film. And I have to admit, I allowed myself to be entertained by the movie. Was it great film? Certainly not. But on that night, it was perfectly extraordinary.
I walked away with a reminder of a valuable lesson. Seeing possibilities and feeling at choice is not about collecting a laundry list of options and trying to find the perfect combination. Choice is about seeing what’s in front of us – even if it appears to be an undesirable option – and choosing how to be in relation with it. Happiness and satisfaction can come to us in the most unexpected of ways if we allow it.
Bring Less is More to Your Own Life
Where in your life or work are you stuck and feeling like you will never find the perfect choice?
How can you see the options in front of you with new eyes and appreciate the satisfaction they can bring you?
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