Breathing Through Your Work

Three choreographers had fallen through, a bid for a new project was due, a deadline was pushed up, and we just realized that because of a clerical error, a big piece of our current film had no budget left.

That was last week.

This week, things are a little better, but there’s still plenty left undone and plenty more problems to solve.

I imagine the same is for you.

Just when you think you’re almost finished with a project, or just when you think you have that final little piece in place, inveitably something falls through. I don't know about you, but stuff like that happens to me, I tense up. Sometimes I simply stop breathing. The opposite of what a personal trainer would tell you when you're pushing hard against a goal.

So how do we learn to breathe through our work and not suffocate under the chaos?

I was watching the movie, HUGO, a few weeks ago with my wife. There’s this great scene between Hugo and his father, played by Jude Law, where they are attempting to fix their automaton robot.

After months of scavenging parts from every nook and cranny of the city, they begin attaching the final pieces. They are so close to making the thing work when they realize they’re missing the key to turn it on. Hugo is obviously disappointed and frustrated.

They are so close to being finished! Now how will they ever find the key!?

Seeing the distress in his son's eyes, Jude Law moves in close, then whispers, in this wonderfully hopeful tone:

“Ah. Another mystery to solve!”

This my friends is how you begin to breathe. This is how you begin to cope (and possibly, even enjoy) with the tumult that naturally comes with making hard things.

Sure this is going to be hard work, but oh, what fun!

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