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Posts Tagged ‘empowerment’

I think a lot about how to live life and how to be happy. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how often the Rule of Awesome applies.

What is the Rule of Awesome? It’s the idea that when you’re dissatisfied with yourself or your circumstances, you do something awesome. You make the choice to take an action that is positive and exciting and cool. You focus on yourself and how you can be a more fulfilled person instead of focusing on those things that you cannot change.

Following the Rule of Awesome might not fix your problems, but what it will do is put you back into a place of empowerment. And it makes life a lot more fun.

Of course, cultivating the awesome and noticing it when it presents itself can be difficult. But it’s just another mental muscle; with attention and practice, finding awesomeness gets easier over time. And as you make awesome, the opportunities for more awesome tend to multiply.

There’s also our old friend, the fear of failure, trying to discourage us from pursuing the awesome. After all, what if the awesome turns out to be merely mediocre, or even flat-out bad? Which is why I think the more awesome things you’re doing or planning to do, the better. That way when some of them don’t pan out, it doesn’t matter as much since there are more awesome things on the horizon. And when we focus more on the process than the result, we have more time to enjoy the awesome even if everything doesn’t work out perfectly in the end.

Taking a stroll in Central Park the day before a hurricane? Definitely awesome.

Taking a stroll in Central Park the day before a hurricane? Definitely awesome.

Most of the time, though, the Rule of Awesome tends to work out pretty well for me. So to inspire you, I’m going to cook up some ideas for more awesome in the months to come. (Yes, this does mean I get to make a list. And yes, lists are very obviously made of awesome.)

– Try vanilla ice cream with the following toppings: chocolate syrup, strawberry jam, maple syrup, and M&Ms. Really I think maybe having both jam and maple syrup is too much, but I think I’m going to try it anyway. Why? Because it’s awesome.

– Drive down to Santa Cruz with someone who thinks the following is as awesome as I do: mini-golf, air hockey, crepes, and ice cream. Oh, and freezing cold beach time, when the wind is ripping through your hair and your cheeks are getting numb and you taste salt on your lips.

– Battlestar Galactica the Board Game. Enough said.

– Dye my hair red to see what it looks like.

– Go see this guy perform live.

– Write a novel set in space. Even though it’s freaking terrifying. Why? Because its awesomeness factor makes it totally worth it.

– Throw a big party and convince everyone to dress up in fabulous costumes.

– Buy lots and lots of dominoes and make a huge standing domino pattern until I can’t wait any longer and have to topple them all.

– Go to Iceland and attempt to see the Northern Lights in October before heading down to Brighton and World Fantasy con. Seriously, I can’t think of anything much more awesome than this. Obviously this is a thing that all of you who are SF/F writers should do with me.

Most fun list-making game ever. Help make my list longer. What’s something awesome you might do in the next year?

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My favorite movie is Star Wars. Star Wars: A New Hope, to be precise. I chose this favorite movie at some point during high school, and it stuck.

Now, some people will argue that The Empire Strikes Back is a superior movie, and I don’t disagree with this. However, high school me had a copy of Star Wars on VHS (without commercials, even, which was a big score) that I could watch over and over again. High school me did not have a copy of The Empire Strikes Back. (And when I eventually got one, it DID have commercials.) So Star Wars has the nostalgia win there. Also, The Empire Strikes Back has that cliffhanger ending, which means you don’t get a complete viewing experience unless you then watch Return of the Jedi, and Return of the Jedi is definitely NOT my favorite movie. Whereas Star Wars has a complete story arc contained in its two hours.

Star Wars has a lot of things going for it. Light sabers. Comic relief droids. Space ships. The neat blue lines that signal a jump to lightspeed. A kick ass princess with a sharp tongue (although alas, she is the only female character, which I consider to be one of the movie’s worst flaws). A walking carpet. An iconic bad guy who can be identified by sound, not just sight. High stakes. Guts, glory, and scoundrels.

The iconic villain also has a very recognizable silhouette.

But the reason Star Wars is my favorite movie? The emotions it evokes in me and the way I feel after I watch it. When Luke succeeds against all odds, blowing up the Deathstar and saving the entire Rebel Alliance, it reminds me of what is possible. It pumps me up and makes me feel ready to tackle my own life, my own goals, and my own problems. This feeling was valuable back when I was eleven and has continued to be inspiring ever since.

I love that Luke is just some guy, and nobody really thinks he has what it takes to make such a difference. (Well, no one except Obi Wan, anyway.) But through hard work (we don’t get to see it, but it’s implied that he’s spent large amounts of time on flying and target practice before the movie starts), courage, and belief in himself, he is able to rise above other people’s expectations of him and do his true best.

We all receive negative messages about our capabilities at some point. There are always the naysayers who think (and sometimes tell us) that we don’t have what it takes to accomplish our goals. Sometimes the loudest naysayer of all is inside our own heads. What I love about Star Wars is that it reminds me to ignore these naysayers. It reminds me that I won’t know my capabilities unless I fully commit. It encourages me to dream and strive and achieve my own personal best.

What about you? What movie inspires you? What movie makes you feel like you can take on the world?

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