For some of us, life is good, things are going well and we’re in a good place, but for so many of us, life isn’t really what we’d want it to be. We have an idea of our ideal lives but it seems like it’s almost unattainable at times, like we just can’t get ourselves to do the work that would get us that life.
In some ways our life exists in cycles: We don’t like they way our lives are going – we want a change – we plan to make a change – we try to make that change – it doesn’t go the way we wanted it to – we get discouraged and fall back into despair – so we don’t like the way our lives are going, and the cycle restarts.
Although this cycle is clearly an unsustainable and toxic way of life, it actually has some value, and if we look in the right places, we can learn a lot from this cycle and hopefully, break out of it.
There are multiple films that employ a cyclical narrative structure, where the main character lives the same day over and over. One movie that uses this device is the 2014 film ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’. The film follows Major William Cage, a public affairs officer with no combat experience who finds himself stuck in a time loop where he is forced to live the same day again and again.
In the film, Cage has no choice but to live out the same day repeatedly until he’s able to get to the root of what’s causing it. But he doesn’t get there in one try. Instead what he does is use the repeating nature of his day to get through it.
Each time he dies, his day starts again. So what he does is start to use the mistakes that kill him, as lessons and pointers on what to avoid and what to go towards. When he makes a mistake and dies, and then relives the same moment in the new day, he avoids what killed him previously. Doing this again and again, he’s able to manoeuvre through this loop and ultimately defeat it.
So often we focus on a goal that is so far out of our reach that we forget that we can only live one day at a time, nothing happens overnight. We live the same day over and over again but don’t use the lessons we learn from them.
Let’s not fantasise about our ideal life, but plan our ideal day in such a way that when we live that day repeatedly it would automatically result in our ideal life. If we had to pack one day with seven ‘Must-Do’ things that would guarantee that we would be significantly close to our ideal life in one year, what would those seven things be?
If we’re anyway stuck living the same day over and over, we might as well make that a good day. Instead of thinking so far ahead into our dream lives, let our current ideal be a single day. That day shouldn’t be a day in your ideal life, but instead a day that you can live tomorrow, that if you repeated again and again, would result in your eventual ideal life, and why not let that day be tomorrow?
Written by Ben Joshua