Got Nerve?

This evening my parents and I watched the movie Nerve. It has one of my all time favourite actresses as the main lead (Emma Roberts), so naturally it was on my list of To Be Watched.

I don’t want to spoil anything but the movie had a few concepts in there that I want to discuss.

It is about a game wherein people can be one of two categories, either Players or Watchers. The Watchers control what the Players do in an online game, which is fun at first but later takes a serious (seriously dangerous) turn.

To me, this is similar to life in certain ways. We can all choose to be Watchers or Players. Watching other people reach success and sit idly by, merely discussing their achievements. Or we can choose to be active participants, or Players, and be the ones reaching for the stars and living our dreams. The difference is, the Players in life are not too often controlled by their viewers. They take their own path and follow their dreams and desires.

We decide this for ourselves. Life and any other higher power cannot change and improve our fates without major assistance and hard work from us. My mother often says that no one is a ship on the seas of life, floating around aimlessly and being tossed through the storms. We are the captain of our boats and we have direction and we have control.

Later in the movie we are introduced to the third category of Prisoner. The Players who do not stick to the rules become Prisoners to the game. In life, I feel more like the Watchers become the Prisoners. They fall into the traps of laziness and giving up. This leads to becoming Prisoners of their own routines, with a fear of trying harder or escaping the mundanity. It is such a perfectly orchestrated trap, assisted by society and the millions of distractions available at our fingertips.

It is so much easier to watch another episode on Netflix than to work on learning that 2nd language that you’ve been dying to understand for the past 12 years… Ordering McDonalds is the convenience that beats learning how to use that Smoothie Maker that you bought months ago and have been meaning to incorporate into your morning routine… The gym can wait for the Monday that never truly arrives, while you dream about the outfit at the back of your closet that you said you’d wear when you lost those last 10 kgs… Going to the job that makes you miserable is safer than quitting and starting your own company…

We are all active Players in life. We have control and we are capable of making conscious decisions. We all have 24 hours in a day. Your role models all have the same amount of time that you do. If you are not where you want to be, then you should probably reevaluate your priorities. Even an hour or just a few minutes spent on something to reach your goals every day, is better than putting them in the back of your mind to be forgotten.

I have decided to attempt to write a little bit every day. Even if it’s just a tiny poem or a page in my journal, my goal for 2017 is to have written at least 365 little things for myself. A skill can only be honed if it is practiced. I know I am technically a few hours late with this post for today, but to me a new day doesn’t start until I’ve slept at least 4 hours.

I have been doing a lot more thinking lately too. I don’t want to wait for someone to say to me that they don’t think I’ll be able to complete something to give me motivation to do it. I don’t want to be known as the girl that never follows through. So this will be my goal for the year to work on by myself without pressure from anyone or anything. I’ll be accountable for myself, and I will be the only one who knows if I have or haven’t followed through. Proving to myself (and possible Watchers) that I do indeed have the nerve.

I have a habit of being more focused on helping others succeed and motivating them, than myself. For a long time, I suppose I didn’t feel that I was worthy of achieving anything, if that makes sense. I didn’t like myself very much, and you don’t often want to see someone that you don’t like succeed. I have come very far since then, but a few old negative habits have stuck around. The only way to get rid of the bad (in a way that works for me) is to slowly replace it with the good. It is pretty silly to continue to be a sidekick in your own story.

There comes a time for all of us to decide whether we have the nerve to work hard, but not be too hard on ourselves in the process. There is a list in our hearts of what makes us happy. There is also a list of things that we do everyday. Often, these lists do not agree with one another. It is up to us to evaluate them both and make adjustments where necessary.

What’s the point of not doing something that makes you happy whenever possible?

It is possible to have the best of both worlds… Watch one fewer episode of Netflix per week and learn a new phrase in that foreign language…. Make a fresh smoothie to have with your french fries… Go to the gym today, throw out that old outfit and buy a new one that fits the body you have… Don’t quit your job, but work on your passion on the side until you can make something of it…

It definitely requires a Watcher to turn into a Player to avoid becoming a Prisoner of Life…

Got Nerve? Bring it on 2017.

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