Knowing What You Want

One of the things I learned in a Scriptwriting course I took last year was that the main character must always want something badly and pursue it throughout the movie. That is what makes the story interesting, our teacher said. If you want a good story, you cannot have a main character who doesn’t want anything. Because if the character doesn’t want anything, you have no plot. You have nothing hindering him, nothing opposing him, no big choices that he needs to make. He’s just… there.

I found that to be a fitting description of how I have been conducting my life. I didn’t take risks, or when I did, I rushed against the storm. I didn’t put effort in things and I avoided choices. I didn’t dare to assert myself.

And it turns out, if you don’t pursue what you like, want, need… which is to affirm your place in the world and to have healthy self-interest, then the default is to define yourself in terms of what you don’t like or want, which creates a negative outlook on life.

It would appear that the difference between the two is the difference between purposeful action and fearful reaction.

If you do not choose, if you do not use your voice, if you do not initiate things and decide upon goals, you revert to a state where you react to your circumstances.

So I think that building healthy aggression is important, because that is the impetus you need to pull you out of inertia. Instead of fighting circumstances, you let intentions carry you forward.

And also, deciding upon a goal, as abstract or imperfect as it may appear, it is better than not deciding upon anything. You choose and then refine. You get things moving. You learn, you experience, you improve, you grow.

And by your choices and the goals you pursue, things start falling into place. You know what you need to say yes to and no to, you get to know what you like and what clicks. And you get to learn about who you are.

And you finally turn the page and start a new chapter : )