In the movie World War Z, Brad Pitt's character utters the immortal line; “Movimiento es vida.” – Movement is life. And I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately.
Last week, I quit my job because I applied for a brilliant new one and got it. It’s better pay, better atmosphere, but most of all, it’s a chance for me to move forward.
Last year I promised myself this would be the last 18 months I would work and live the way I had been; in a job I no longer enjoyed and without any chance of promotion; worrying about money and stressing about things I could do nothing about; waiting for certain things to happen to me, rather than going out and getting them.
I’m also getting all my vitals checked out. Health wise, I’m doing pretty good, but not great; I eat a little too much sugar, don’t sleep as much as I could, and am basically behind in my workout routine by about 3 months.
All of these have coalesced into a single thought; movement is life. It’s a bigger concept than it seems, but starts with a simple notion; move forward, keep the motion consistent, and don’t give up.
I know it sounds a little like the old live every day, one day at a time, but for me it’s more than that. I’ve subscribed to the idea of evolution of self for a while now, and it’s not as hippie as it sounds. Actually, it’s a pretty solid, single-minded, emotional mantra that keeps me feeling alive.
Let me explain. I used to know a guy who I was a little bit in love with who once said to me, “I don’t really want to go out and get things, I just wait for them to happen to me. I just know that stuff is coming, and I want to wait”. There were so many scary things about those words that I didn’t know where to start. My brain had a minor meltdown, and it took some time before it absorbed the itchy feeling that gave me, and presented the results.
What it came up with was this; life is about duality, a constant balancing act of good and bad, heavy and light, quiet and loud. High energy and soft rest. Working your ass off and slothing about being vague.
Waiting for the good things to come to you, but putting in all the groundwork so that it’s basically a downhill slide to destined achievement.
The way to keep that constant duality is to move forward, to constantly evolve. There’s no need for it to be giant leaps of spiritual enlightenment, but you Must. Keep. Moving. My personal belief is that we all have a destiny ahead of us, but that the path is not set in stone. You have so many strands to choose from, and free will lets us pick which one to pull and follow. Do you take that job and see where it leads, or stay where you are and see if things get better? Do you marry that man, or take the leap and move on without him? Do you travel to that foreign land, or find adventure in your homeland?
There are no wrong or right choices, only the desire to be bold and brave, and of course, move forward.
Some people take much smaller steps than others. Another old love told me once that he has to wait for certain things to come to him. There’s only so much you can do before you just have to wait. I’ll be honest and say I found that more than a little scary, and a lot frustrating. That being said, this one made more sense; he’d done the groundwork and now he had to wait. Yards and yards of work, but you still have to wait for others to do their part. I’m not sure I totally agreed, but this one didn’t make my brain itch and my fists hurt. You know why; duality, evolution, forward motion. His path is slower and less hectic than mine, but just as valid because it’s his path and he’s travelling – advancing - along it.
Back to the zombie movie. Brad Pitt plays a United Nations investigator trying to find a way to halt the zombie apocalypse. The film basically revolves around him and a bunch of scientists trying to find a way to stop the tide before everyone and everything dies, overcome by waves of the living dead destroying everything in their path.
We are not in the middle of the zombie apocalypse (yet). Most of us don’t even know what a war zone is like, and the most pressing, urgent need in our life is getting to work on time, pick up the kids, pay bills, and other things sans mortality factor.
But as individuals, as community groups, as a society, we must keep pushing ourselves to be better and stronger. Smarter and more resilient. Nothing fails faster than stagnation and static.
Let me come back to personal examples; I’m changing jobs because I could die here. Not physically, of course, that’s ridiculous – the zombies aren’t here yet. But emotionally and spiritually. With no way of bettering myself, learning anything new, or any real goals to work towards, I could easily become complacent and let all my life goals die. I could become a slave to a lacklustre life, the simple mundanity of ticking the boxes and nothing else.
Maybe some people can do that. Maybe there’s just a point when it all becomes too much of a hassle, and people give up. There was a point when I nearly didn’t take the new job because I worried that it was all too much and too fast.
But I did. And I can’t stop taking the good risks that keep me advancing. I can slow down, I can pause, feel like it might not all be worth it. But I can’t stop. Ever.
I also think we take for granted the movement of others. My pace is hyperspeed. Yours is steady and relaxed. Hers is a trickle today and an avalanche next week. Each to their own. What they have in common is this; locomotion.
As a quick sidenote before I finish up, I want to use another famous quote, one that I’ve used before; you mistake motion for growth, and are lured into vexing situations (Douglas Coupland).
Don’t mistake motion for growth. Don’t think just because you are moving that you are evolving. Take the time to actually assess what you are doing and whether it’s living or surviving. That’s not stopping; it’s slowing down to reflect. If nothing is changing, you’re not living, you’re already a zombie.
My point here is this; we must all keep advancing in life, physically, mentally and spiritually. Because if we don’t, we’ll die. Not just as unique individuals, but as a society, as a race.
Say it with me, say it loud, whisper it to the clouds; movement is life.