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Archive for July, 2010

“Yes Man”, starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel and directed by Peyton Reed, is a light-hearted romantic comedy that is a lot of fun to watch and a film that I really enjoyed.  Carl Allen (Carrey) is living a stagnant life.  He is in a mundane position at work (as a junior loan officer with a bank he spends all day declining loans and is passed over for a promotion) and is still moping over his divorce.  As a result he avoids having a social life and spends evenings watching DVDs.  One day he runs into an old co-worker, Nick (John Michael Higgins), who had left the bank to live life and has been on all sorts of adventures including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Nick attributes this to his becoming a “Yes Man” and gives Carl a pamphlet and invites him to the next “Yes” motivational conference.

Carl begins to take stock of his life after he misses his best friend Peter’s (Bradley Cooper) engagement party and Peter warns him that he’d better do something about his life or he is going to end up very lonely.

Carl attends the “Yes” conference which is led by Terrance Bundley (Terrance Stamp) and as a result, however with heels dragging and a lot of “nos,” Carl makes a covenant with Terrance to say “yes” to everything.  As he leaves the conference he gets to put this into practice immediately as a homeless man asks him for a ride in his car and then for money.  As a result Carl ends up running out of gas and walks to the nearest gas station where he meets Allison (Deschanel).

Then we watch Carl as he continues to say “yes” to everything even stuff he doesn’t like and his life gets better.  He gets the girl and their romance blossoms, he gets a promotion, he does things that make others happy, and he tries lots of new things and he prevents a man from committing suicide.

Then things start to go sour when Carl and Allison take a spontaneous trip to Nebraska and get caught by the FBI who think they are terrorists and have been following Carl.  As a result, Allison breaks up with Carl after finding out from Peter that Carl has been saying “yes” to everything, but he hesitated when she asked him to move in together.

After being released and being back home, Carl receives a call to come over from his ex-wife Stephanie (Molly Sims) who has broken up with her boyfriend.  He refuses her advances and bad things start to happen to him, which he thinks is due to breaking the covenant and saying “no” to Stephanie.  Finally he confronts Terrance Bundley to remove the covenant and Terrance states that there never was supposed to be a covenant and that it was a way for him to stop Carl from being so negative and that a person is supposed to only say “yes” to the things that matter, not everything!  The movie of course ends with a kiss as Carl finds Allison at her photography and exercise class and makes up with her as he explains his true feelings.

There are many things that I found resonated with me during this movie.  First of all I loved the scene at the “Yes” conference as it reminded me on a humourous level of many of the motivational seminars I have attended.

I also think that the old Carl is very telling as to the way many of us live our lives, we say “no” too much and get set in our ways or held back because of fear.  The life-changing scene for Carl was after being confronted by Peter about missing the engagement party.  There is a dream sequence in which Peter and Rooney (Danny Masterson) enter Carl’s apartment and effectively find him dead on the couch.  There is a saying that “if you are not growing, you are dying” and this scene reflects this beautifully.  Old Carl was certainly dying!

Then there was the covenant – Carl really believed that he had broken it by saying “no” to Stephanie’s advances and that was why so much bad stuff was happening to him, which shows how strong the power of thought is.  Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right?  Bad things happen to everyone, but those that have the positive, “yes” attitude are the ones that can deal with problems the best – a problem is just an opportunity to be taken.   They say that bad things some in threes, but if you think that way of course they do.  (The same principle applies to good things coming in threes as well!  What would you rather have?)

Whilst I won’t be saying “yes” to everything, I will continue to keep an open mind to new things.  What about you?

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One powerful thing that I came away with from the Peak Potentials Millionaire Mind Intensive last month was, at the end of each day, to write down in my journal the 5 awesome things of that day.  I have been doing this consistently ever since.  Actually, I had started doing this back in January after reading “The Witch’s Coin: Prosperity and Money Magick” by Christopher Penczak (a book which looks at prosperity, the Law of Attraction and the like from a Wiccan/Pagan point of view).  “The Witch’s Coin” suggested to write down 5 things that you are thankful for each day, but I stopped doing this after a while when life got too busy.  But how true it is!  As a child I was often told to “count my blessings” when sad, complaining or feeling hard done by.  Gratitude is a part of most of religious traditions I think, but sometimes we are not taught how this can be a step towards more personal fulfillment and happiness.

If you start to journal the 5 things you are most thankful for and/or the 5 awesome things that you did or happened to you each day, no matter how small they seem, life feels a lot better.  If life feels better, life will be better.  Basically what this exercise does is make you focus on all the POSITIVE things happening in your life rather than the negative things.  I do believe that focusing on the positive is a more healthy way to be and that focusing on the negative can be a detriment to not just your mental health, but your physical health too.  Being positive also helps us to deal with problems and issues that come up as well and allow us to face them a lot better.

I have also suspected that these principles also apply to Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets and Eric Qualman’s “Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business”, which I have just started to read, confirms this.  Qualman’s book tells us about a woman that unintentionally posted more negative comments about her kids than positive comments.  She didn’t realize this until a friend enlightened her about it and then she reviewed her status updates and found out it was true.  So she made a conscious effort to post positive comments and about 2 weeks later was rewarded by her four year old stating: “Mommy, you seem a lot more happy, and I really like it.”  Recently, I have been trying to always post something positive and even when my cat disappeared for a few days, my posts conveyed my feeling of worry, however I didn’t want to be in despair, but keep the hope up that she would return.  (She did!  Thanks to all those that posted comments of support.)

Writing down my 5 awesome things of the day, makes me want to do more awesome things.  For me it can be as something mundane as finishing a novel or working out, or something great like selling a house, winning something, going on a trip or seeing an old friend for the first time in ages.  Awesome things are different for everyone.  To again get back to Qualman’s book, social media status updates that ask “what’s happening?” do the same thing as we post about cool things that we do to our social network and natural human competitiveness makes us want to post and therefore do cooler things than our social media friends.  This is great for individuals and great for society.

Getting more enjoyment out of life starts within and with what you already have.  Count your blessings and improve your life!

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