All In

The ALL IN Principle goes something like this:

Student meets with professor to discuss thesis project for graduation. Student is behind. Student has big dreams and goals for this project, but student is currently in the middle of another project that is taking up all her time, which is the main focus and goal in her life.

Professor says, “Why is this happening to you Anna? You are always behind.”

Student, surprised, says nothing.

Professor, “For as long as I’ve known you, this has been the case.”

Hmpf. Well then.

Lets view things from my professor’s perspective:

She has classes, in those classes are assignments. Most of her students hit those assignments on time, whether it means copying, throwing them together last minute, etc.  But some of her students, who are paying upwards of $19,000 per semester in tuition have other ideas of where they want their investment to go, and the last thing they want to do is copy.

Like me.

I didn’t go to film school to complete assignments. I went to film school to build my craft and learn from the best mentors, to become connected with the best artists. The most important thing one can do with their education is take control of it. I don’t care if I fail all my classes as long as I’m getting an “A” in the one that matters. (Which for me, were my directing classes)

So much of our American lifestyle is doing things just to check a box. When did this box checking become such a thing? This standard is absolutely awful in my opinion. It’s a mediocre bar at best. Yes, we need to be on top of the day to day tasks like bills, keeping order in the home, changing the oil in our vehicles, etc. but checking boxes doesn’t necessarily mean progress.

Some of our greatest strides throughout history required one person, or a group of people, to ignore the boxes and be all in.

This is a tricky thing to wrap your mind around, I know. When to ignore the boxes, and when to not. When to be all in, and when to not. Which is why personal integrity matters. Being truly honest with yourself will help you know, with clarity, what matters on your journey.

In this case my professor was teaching the steps to complete a thesis. I took the class because it was a requirement, not to necessarily to make a thesis. The information she was teaching was not what I needed. I knew that, but she didn’t. And that’s okay.

Be kind to yourself.

Don’t take what others say at face value.

When you’re in your zone, and you see the bigger picture, stay focused on that.

People, friends and family, will say things to you that can throw you off or make you doubt yourself. Don’t be mad at them for it. Take it as a challenge to make sure you’re doing things for the right reasons. And when you get there, go back and thank them for the doubt. Because it only made you stronger.

I took what my professor said, knowing it was wrong, and reminded myself that being ALL IN on one thing is better than being partially in on a number of things.

Needless to say, I’m glad I followed my gut in school, despite the incorrect judgement I received from a professor I admired. I’m a better storyteller for it.

Was there ever a time you ignored the boxes? Do you agree, that somehow our society has become obsessed with check lists and not the bigger picture. Let me know in your comments!

x and tales,

AEJ

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