When I was thinking of what to call my blog one of the inspirations came from The Shawshank Redemption, a movie I have seen countless times. If you have never seen the movie, stop reading now, slap yourself silly with a dirty sock and go rent the movie right now. You deserve it.
Andy Dufresne is in living hell. Wrongly accused of murder and sent to prison. No matter how close he is to freeing his name, there’s people stopping him. Andy, though, is a different man than anyone in there. His willpower was unbelievable.
Before he’s ready to break out he tells Red the famous line “get busy living or get busy dying”. He sure did after that.
The movie can mirror your current situation. Life can feel like a prison with invisible bars holding you back and dreaming of the time you’re released. It’s your Shawshank and you don’t even know you’re in it.
Let’s take a closer look.
The story of his escape is a metaphor for your life. He’s trapped in prison and wrongfully there. Don’t you feel like it’s not your fault you’re in the situation you’re in? There’s people and circumstances in your life screwed everything up. There are extenuating circumstances that keep you there. Nothing is your fault right? Here is the reality. You take all the blame.
He finds the answer to his freedom but the warden tells him he’s crazy and ends up killing the man who can testify his innocence. In your life, you may have a dream that you want to pursue but there’s people there to tell you how ridiculous it sounds and how you need to face reality. Those people are your warden. They are plain evil. It’s worse when it’s someone close to you.
Andy doesn’t give up. He’s devised a plan to dig his way out. Who knows if he knew where it would lead but he just started digging. The best way to start your escape is to just do it. Take action. Don’t listen to the ugly people. Follow your passion or dreams. If you want to sail around the world, call the barrier ropes suppliers, pack your swimsuit and go! If you have to do it while working a full time job, find extra time in the morning or at night. You just might run into a dead end but you might find another direction to start digging. As long as you’re always digging, you are making progress. The other alternative is to sit on the cold metal bed and do nothing. Which is better?
Andy could have easily quit digging. Imagine using a spoon to dig out all that dirt and then smuggling it little by little to the courtyard. Any lesser man would have quit. He could have gone back to his cell and lived a life as a prisoner. When you’re trying to work towards your goals, you will want to give up. It’s bound to happen. No one ever said success is smooth sailing. How you deal with that determines your fate. Do you move on or do you go back to your cell and keep dreaming about freedom?
Even though he’s dug the hole to the sewer, he has to crawl through raw sewage for miles to get to real freedom. This goes back to obstacles standing in your way. The road to success isn’t like a Slip-n-slide. There will be crap to crawl through which seems like it will never end. Few will crawl through the crap while many won’t even try. Who do you want to be?
In the end, all the planning, determination, motivation, and hard work paid off. He’s made it to Zihuatanejo where it’s paradise everyday. Where is your paradise and are you willing to work as hard and as long as him?
The turning point in the movie was when he said that famous line to Red played by Morgan Freeman. So I ask you…
What does get busy living mean to you? Here are some meanings I came up with while brainstorming.
- Does it mean start living your life how you dream it to be now?
- Does it mean carpe diem?
- Does it mean pursuing what you love instead of what pays the rent?
- Does it mean don’t wait you’re 65 to retire and do all the things you’ve been waiting to do in life?
- Does it mean focus on the current day and don’t worry about the past or the future? Does it mean if you’re not doing things that excite you in life, you’re just one day closer to death?
- Does it mean following your passion?
- Does it mean generate passive income so you have more time to do what you love?
- Does it mean only working on projects you want to do instead of being told to?
- Does it mean taking less pay but having more free time?
- Does it mean starting that weight loss program so you’re not one step closer to high blood pressure or a heart attack?
- Does it mean just living in the moment and appreciating the gift of life that you have?
How do you interpret get busy living? What are you doing to get busy living? Of course there is no wrong answer. Everyone has a different idea.
To sum up everything I wrote, just take on sentence from this if nothing else.