If you had to define your life with just five photographs, which would you choose?
When we remodeled our basement, we purposely designed a large wall space to hold five poster-sized photographs that would represent key points in our life. We didn’t know what the five photos would be, just that we wanted to create space to hold them.
Just after the remodel was completed, we viewed the inspirational movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
In this romantic/comedy/mystery, “Walter” (Ben Stiller) works for Life Magazine, loses the important cover photo for the final issue, and with some help from his romantic interest Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), spends the rest of the movie trying to locate it.
During one of the best scenes, Walter rushes past a 100-foot-long wall filled with iconic, poster-sized Life Magazine covers.
THAT’S the image we’ll mimic with our “life” posters in our basement!
We’ll select five photos from our life, have them designed as if they were covers of Life Magazine and create our own “Life Wall.”
Although the idea arrived in an instant, it took 30 months to manifest.
My wife has always been a photographer, both personally and professionally. So we have thousands of photographs. How does one select just five photos to represent our combined 100+ years of life?
Over the next 30 months we discussed the project dozens of times. Should we feature our family? Pets? Jobs? Houses? Businesses? Travels? Skills? Hobbies? Service Activities? After many hours of deliberation, we settled upon the following five photos:
After reviewing the five photos we selected, what was the common denominator and the point of this column?
All of the photos we selected symbolized huge, courageous, leaps of faith into the unknown.
These leaps turned us into the people we dreamed of becoming. No one can take that inner abundance away and we can apply that abundance to every new adventure in the future. It turns out that our scariest and most offbeat adventures are the milestones we selected to punctuate and define our lives.
Going through this selection process taught us what we valued most from our decades on earth. It wasn’t things. It wasn’t careers. It wasn’t even people. Yes, all of these were important but they did not make the top-five cut.
What mattered most were the experiences that caused our own personal growth.
Paradoxically, those leaps of faith also helped tens of thousands of other people who brushed against our journey.
We learned that Life isn’t about acquiring, it’s about becoming. Strapping something onto yourself externally is always hollow because it is external to you and can be lost. But change the who you are inside -- your essential self -- and that is richly fulfilling and permanent.
When Walter Mitty completed his adventures at the conclusion of the movie, his secret dream life had become his inner essential self, making it visible for all to see. Walter Mitty learned what Margie & I learned.
To live the life you imagine and to become the person you dream of becoming, you must take leaps of faith to get there. The size of your leaps determines the size of your growth and the size of your Life.
Why not make TODAY a cover-worthy moment in your Life?
Mike Johnson made the journey from jobs to freelance writer to entrepreneur to passive income and early retirement. Today he teaches people how to skip right to passive income and early retirement at WorldsBestWriter.com .
Once I learned how to BUY passive income, I stopped chasing the bucks and the bucks started chasing me!
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