Monday, September 20, 2010

The secret of my success

I often tell students that the secret to life is finding away to get assigned to do things you want to do anyway.

That seems like a simple matter, like telling people to do what they love.  But what you love and what you'll make time to do are not always the same thing.  Take movies.  There are a ton of movies I want to see.  But how often can I make those the highest priority in my leisure time?  It's actually hard for us to devote a whole evening to a movie we don't have to see, when there are so many things we need to see to keep up with the media that's part of our jobs.

So as a way to see some movies I want to see, I created a no-credit course that screens them.  Students sign up to attend, and every other week I watch with them.  I don't always want to be there doing exactly that at precisely that moment, particularly when I'm really busy.  But I want to see these movies at some point.  And now is the moment when I can assign myself that job in order to have those pleasure.

A desire made into an assignment can become a chore, it's true.  But at the end of the day, would you rather not have read the books on your life list, because it wasn't quite as spontaneous as you might ideally have wished?  If you can find a way to work your bucket list into your everyday to-do list, it's possible to make some progress before you retire.  Good thing, too, since the list of movies I want to see isn't getting any shorter.

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