Things we learn from action films about mindfulness and work

May 25, 2012 0 Comments

It is important to stay fit for your job.

A few months ago I went to see the film Safe House featuring two remarkably fit men, Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington. I didn’t love the film, but I left feeling grateful for having received this clear, albeit unexpected, message. It is important to stay fit for your job. It was a reminder that came at exactly the right time for me. And one doesn’t have to be a CIA agent for it to apply. No matter what your “job” is, no matter what work it is that you seek to do on this planet, the idea applies.

In the film, Ryan plays the role of CIA agent in training who doesn’t do much of anything until he gets the assignment of a lifetime. When things finally pick up, Ryan is in shape to meet the challenge, even if it stretches him. He trusts his own ability, physical and otherwise.

Work is about energy. We dedicate energy–indeed so much of our lives–to our work, and if we’re lucky, we approach our work in such a way that it energizes us right back. Physical energy and awareness usually translates to mental and emotional energy and awareness. Physical strength and resilience can translate to mental and emotional strength and resilience over time. There will be days/months/years when we’ll simply need more energy and awareness to get us through the day, and there will be times when we’ll need to rely on our own hard-earned strength and resilience to get us through our next big challenge. For these times, we’re going to want something like muscle memory. Hint: We don’t need to be actors with personal trainers to pay attention to our bodies, our energy level, and where we find energy (or don’t) in our work and creative projects.

How do you maintain your energy, fitness level, health and well-being? Where do you find energy in your work? How does your work energize you or not energize you?


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