List your three favorite movies. (Don’t think about it; just list them.) Now look over your list. What is the common thread in all three? That common thread is typically your passion colliding with the world’s greatest need. ~Author Mary DeMuth, in a guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog
In her excellent post on discerning your tribe (passion, calling), Mary DeMuth suggested the exercise above. I thought of my top three movies and then laughed – surely they have nothing in common and surely no one will ever take me seriously. If only my top movies were painfully artistic or at least had subtitles. But no, my top three movies are:
- When Harry Met Sally
- High Fidelity
- The Great Muppet Caper
Seriously. See what I mean? How am I to discern my main theme here?
I moved on and went about my housework, still rolling the movie problem around in the back of my head. Then, as I realized I had washed an entire load of laundry without putting detergent in with the dirty clothes (oops), it came to me. My movies DO have something in common:
- Using humor even in difficult circumstances
- Characters who are looking for something they think they want, but come to realize that what they actually want is right under their noses, if they will only be themselves right where they are.
After I added detergent to the wet-but-still-dirty laundry and congratulated myself for finding the common themes in my movies, I was struck yet again:
- Humor and finding joy in being myself in my own circumstances, rather than trying to be what other people want me to be are major issues in my own life.
- Those are two of the main themes in the novel I’m writing.
I know you’re probably like, “Um, where are we going with all this?” but I think you should try it for yourself! This exercise has helped me figure out some areas I could focus better in my story but maybe it has further implications I haven’t thought of yet. In any case, it might be an interesting exercise for you to try.
Your turn: What are your top three movies, what do they have in common, and do you think that is representative of your passion, calling, or tribe?