There are various reasons why a passion for a career can be crushed. Sometimes it is negativity in the workplace from co-workers or dysfunctional management teams. Sometimes it is life events such as health concerns or losing significant people in our lives. Sometimes it is just plain burn-out. What can we do to renew the passion for our career? There is no one perfect way for everyone but one thing I learned recently through a movie is be open to that which is seen and unseen in finding the way to renewing a career passion.
The movie I speak of is The Magic of Belle Isle. The main character is Monte Wilder played by Morgan Freeman, ( which is what drew me to the movie). He is a novelist who has written popular Western novels. He is spending a summer in a tourist town Bell Isle. His nephew helps set him up in a summer home of a friend and encourages him to write. The viewer quickly discovers that Monte has lost all his desire to write. First it comes across that it is because of alcohol that he doesn’t write, but soon the truth comes out is that the alcohol is a result of the pain of his wife dying of cancer years earlier. Monte is disabled due to an accident that ruined a promising sports career when he was younger and was first married. He was surprised his wife stayed with him after the accident and through many years of marriage. He had been wheel chair bound since that accident.
Thinking over all that has affected Monte’s life it is easy to see how he could be so bitter clinging to his bottle of liquor each day. It brought a question to my mind. Does remaining bitter make for a better life? Obviously no by seeing the result of his life in the movie. The good news is that people can change from bitter to brighter in their outlook on life. Sometimes in our career life that change of outlook is needed. Sometimes we can change it through our own will many times it is helped by our connections with others around us. In Monte’s case help came in the form of a single mother with three daughters that befriend him. The middle daughter is a pre-teen who once she hears Monte is an author wants him to mentor her in writing. By the end of the movie Monte regains his passion for writing and gives up his passion for drinking.
A couple of important ideas that came across to me in the movie was Monte’s emphasis on imagination. He states, “imagination is the most powerful force ever made available to human kind.” That is so true that creativity and the imagination add so much to our life existence. Also in my mind it is a pointer towards the fact that we are created and should be seeking the Creator of all things. Then in speaking of creativity Monte encourages the young girl to learn to describe what is there. Then he goes a step further to always look for what is not there. That thought of what is not there helps our imagination build new possibilities in our lives. What was there in Monte’s life was bitterness and despondency. What was not there in his life, were new friendships and possible ways to rekindle his writing. Thankfully in the end he is open to seeking after what was not there in his life.
Then as a person who enjoys reading there was an important quote about reading from the mother as they were having their first dinner with Monte “A book is a friend that does what no friend can do, be quiet when you are trying to think.” In our noisy world we need to have times to quietly read and reflect over our reading.
I always enjoy the rare movies like The Magic of Belle Isle that are funny, thoughtful and touching. This is a movie that afterwards one can reflect over and learn truths about our life experiences.
Reflection: What is not there in your life that you would like to work towards having in your life? How is your career and work aspect of your life at this point in time? Is there a new perspective you can go after to reignite new passion in your work?