Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Better Busy than Bored

Last Sunday, at a gathering which involved something like a hundred people squeezed tightly into a small apartment to consume strawberry pie, I met with a guy who had previously contacted me on Facebook. Jonathan Walgamott. Go ahead and say that last name out loud.

Anyway, Jon was looking for help with some videography for a non-profit he helped start called Courage to Hope, the purpose of which is to try to combat domestic abuse. By chance, he ran across some of the stuff I’ve posted on Facebook, and decided to send a message asking if I’d be interested in hearing him out. I said sure. We chatted in the vicinity of a bunch of pie.

Why am I telling you this?

Several reasons, but, primarily, I’d like to lead by example when I can. I told Jon I’d be happy to pass along his request to other film-types, and that I’d also be willing to help write content that he could produce. It’s a non-profit, which means non-pay, but I believe in the cause (who wouldn’t?), so I think some small commitment is a good move on my part.

Here’s the principle: Commit to stuff. There are two parts. The first has to do with commitment, the second has to do with stuff. Altogether, the principle suggests (mandates!) that we fill our time with good things, and we fully invest in the things we’ve chosen.

A few years ago, I was sitting in class, and the teacher (Tom Morrill, from whom I learned more than I could ever adequately enumerate) mentioned that there was a student looking for a producer to help out with a capstone. He gave us her email address and told us to contact her if we were interested in helping out.

My first thought was, “Oh, well, I've never produced anything...” And then there came this epiphany: If I didn’t start reaching out and taking opportunities right then, as a young film student, when would I? It dawned on me that I’d never learn anything unless I committed to stuff that scared or stretched me in some way.

I emailed her.

Since then, filling my time with various projects and endeavors has become a habit. I’m not great at staying on top of everything, and I tend to overcommit, but I’ve learned that I’ll always be happier with being too busy than not having enough to do. If I find myself with enough time to watch stuff on Hulu every day, it means I have enough time to grab another opportunity, or commit to another project (or go on a date). It’s second nature. I often find myself overwhelmed, but I think that’s healthy.

So, if you’re reading this, and you’re feeling motivated to go take on something worthwhile, get some experience, and learn some things, send a Facebook message to Jonathan Walgamott, and let him know you’d like to get involved. You can tell him Jordan sent you (you don’t even have to mention that you follow my blog—I know it embarrasses you.)

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