In 1984, Warner Brothers released a movie called The Neverending Story for children. Do you remember it? I can't say that it was as magical as Harry Potter, or as moralistic as The Chronicles of Narnia, but I will say one thing:
I think about the movie at least once a week, and it's been twenty years since I've last seen it.
The plot is a fairly straightforward journey story. The blurb:
Bastian is a young boy who lives a dreary life being tormented by school bullies. On one such occasion he escapes into a book shop where the old proprieter reveals an ancient story-book to him, which he is warned can be dangerous. Shortly after, he "borrows" the book and begins to read it in the school attic where he is drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia, which desperately needs a hero to save it from destruction.
But that says nothing about the scene that has stuck in my mind for over twenty years. In order to save the world Atreyu (sorta Bastien), must go to the Southern Oracle. To do this, he must pass two gates.
The stakes are instant death by zapping. (LOL ... in 1984, that actually looked scary.) The skills needed to pass the gates? Boy, they're deep. Really. And they're why this movie has stayed with me for so long.
It's the first of the 2 gates you must pass through before you reach the Southern Oracle... Of course, most people never get that far.
The sphinx's eyes stay closed until someone who does not feel his own worth tries to pass by... The sphinxes can see straight into your heart.
Of course, we get to see several people fail and die. When Atreyu goes through, the sphinx's eyes open, and he barely makes it through.
You don't understand anything! The worst one is coming up. Next is the Magic Mirror gate. Atreyu has to face his true self.
So what? That won't be too hard for him.
Oh ! That's what everyone thinks. But kind people find that they are cruel, brave men discover that they are really cowards. Confronted with their true selves most men run away screaming !
Nearly every week, I'm confronted with a truth about myself, my choices, and my life, that I'd rather not look at. I just finished a Career Check-Up Challenge at AuthorMBA. We looked at every aspect of ourselves and our career: goals, financials, visions, time, organization, priorities, reputation, skills, etc. Everything. A ton of people signed up.
But about 95% stopped doing the homework. They stopped looking at themselves in the mirror. It's just about the hardest thing to do. It hurts; it's uncomfortable. I procrastinated putting it off for a whole week!
Thanks to this movie, I finally said to myself: looking in the mirror is the hardest thing to do in this battle for a fulfilled life.