Have you seen the movie “Wanted” with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy yet? I admit, I’m an avowed fan of both those two, so I ran right out on opening weekend to see it.
Our main man, Wesley Gibson (McAvoy) was a nervous, wussy wimp stuck, stuck, stuck in a drab,drab world, not able to stand up for himself with his friends, co-workers or boss, suffering anxiety attacks, running out of money and generally thinking negative thoughts about himself. Not a happy scenario.
Under the tutelage of Angelina Jolie’s “Fox,” he transforms himself into a skilled, powerful, brilliant go-getter. (Okay, assassin, but this was a comic-book movie.) Granted, he was born with superhero powers he just needed to tap into… Oh, wait! So were you! You’ve got special powers, too!
I love the movie’s transformational message, and it’s so apt to where I am in my life, and perhaps to where you are in yours, as well. Here’s where I see where Wesley in the movie is so like many of us working on self-improvement and self-actualization:
His “awful” life is his own creation. He’s not being responsible. His belief systems are keeping him where he doesn’t want to be, and he can’t see a way out. He’s doomed there if something doesn’t change, or he doesn’t take it upon himself to change.
Programs make a difference When he enters a program, or new “system” if you will – in this case a rather coerced “training” program – he’s now playing by new rules, new ways of behaving, new practices, and new belief systems. Everything is designed to challenge what he’s been doing, thinking and being in life up until now. That’s what a self-improvement program/system/structure is designed to do – challenge us to break up what we believe to be true.
But still, the program can only do so much. The real transformation comes when…
Wesley takes charge. There is a point where he chooses to use the program to get what he wants. He’s no longer just along for the ride. SPOILER ALERT. (Read on at your own risk.) Wesley gets to a point where he’s no longer the learner, but now he’s the one taking charge of his own future.
People in self-improvement studies need to get to this point. You cannot think the program is going to “do it to you.” You must take charge and be committed to what you are going to learn.
Sharing the transformation In a final look at the camera Wesley asks, what have you done [for yourself]? Having reached a point of mastery, those involved in self-improvement can no longer focus on themselves but must turn to challenge others. Are you doing what you need to do to make the difference for yourself? Or are you waiting? Waiting for circumstances? For somebody to do it for you? For God to speak to you? It’s time to take on responsibility.
Dorothy Suter is a consultant to artists, entrepreneurs, experts and small businesses. See her website at [http://www.dorothysuter.com].
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