I’m a huge Pixar fan (as many of you are I’m sure of it). I’ve seen all of their films from Toy Story to Brave.
I remember the days I’d watch Toy Story over and over again, not because I had nothing better to do with my time, but I found that there was nothing better to do with my time than watch Toy Story.
That’s how much I love their work.
Over the years I’ve also been interested in understanding the art of storytelling, why certain stories stick while others are forgettable and whenever I think of great stories I always think of scenes like this:
(Ok you can stop cutting onions now)
A few weeks ago, to my delight, I came across a list of storytelling rules by Emma Coats, gleaned from her experience as a Pixar storyboard artist, that she graciously shared on Twitter. You should check them all out if you are at a fan of the studio, but as much as I’d love to rant on the entire list, I wanted to talk about one rule in particular that really stood out to me, and what it taught me about health and wellness.
You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
I think this is something we inherently do when it comes to characters in any story. You’re engrossed by their struggles, you feel their vulnerabilities, and for some reason or another you just care about them.
You want so badly for Marlin to find Nemo, or for Mike & Sulley to return Boo back safely to her bedroom.
But when it comes to yourself, the main character in your real life story, the outcomes are less definite, your vulnerabilities are less endearing (but still very real), which cause you, rather than root for yourself, to automatically point out that you’re not good enough, that your work sucks, and that the progress you’ve made so far is meaningless.
In your journey to be healthier, lose weight or whatever health & wellness goal you may have, it’s all too easy to bash and vilify ourselves for missing a workout, or because you struggle somedays to resist going to In N’ Out for lunch, or lacing up your shoes for a morning run.
I guess my point is this
In your journey to live healthier you’ll struggle and you’ll try, you’ll fail a lot or a little, probably a lot.
You’ll be your hardest critic, I know that, but you should also be your biggest cheerleader.
Remember to chase progress rather than perfection, and admire yourself for trying. Never be upset that you don’t win everytime, just that you didn’t try everytime.
Slow down once in awhile and view yourself as a character in a Pixar story, vulnerable in their struggles but admirable in their efforts, win lose or draw.
Praise your progress, celebrate your climb, and continue moving along, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
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