Lucasfilm and X3 Productions teamed up for this exhibition which explored the science of identity through the prism of Star Wars‘ eccentric cast of characters. The focus was on what made these characters who they are, and the theme of identity was brought home, and turned on the audience with the tagline, “What forces shape you?”
Montreal agency, Bleublancrouge developed the exhibition’s visually arresting posters, which featured collage-based portraits of several Star Wars characters, made of elements that reveal who they are. Stormtroopers, for instance, are portrayed in the movies as unthinking automatons whose strength is in numbers, and so the Stormtrooper poster shows a single helmet made from a multitudinous horde of the space soldiers.
As a leadership and mindset coach, the question these posters raised got my attention…
What Forces Are You Allowing To Shape You?
… and do we have control over who we are becoming?
Definition of identity: who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others; the reputation, characteristics, etc. of a person or organisation that makes the public think about them in a particular way.
A person’s identity is shaped by many factors such as nationality, race, ethnic group, physical appearance, culture, talents, interests, language, religion, past circumstances (good or bad). All of these factors affect who a person becomes. So, what I want to do today is help you stop and think about What Forces Are Shaping Who You Are Becoming?
- Are you allowing negative circumstances from the past mould you into the person you are?
- Are you allowing all the amazing things that have happened to you shape your identity?
- Are you a glass half-full person or a glass half-empty person?
You have the power to choose
How many choices have you already made today? I have made many, and it wasn’t even nine am. When my alarm went off this morning, I decided to press the snooze button and wake up a little later. I then decided to drive to the mall, do some grocery shopping (plenty of choices made while shopping) and purchase some shoes (plenty to choose from here) – but even before getting into the car, I had to decide what to wear, what route to take to the mall and where to park… On my way, I chose to listen to some music and not tune into the radio.
Sources suggest the average person makes an eye-popping 35,000 choices per day and assuming most people spend around seven hours per day sleeping, that equates to roughly one decision every two seconds.
We have the option to learn valuable lessons from the challenging negative situations, focus on the good situations and keep moving forward with hope in our hearts and joy in our spirit. Good times are easy to handle. So let’s look at how we can manage the challenging times we all face in life.
Managing bad experiences well
John McDonnell once said, “Every problem introduces a person to himself.”
A bad experience can stop us dead in our tracks. Or it can cause us to make decisions we’ve been putting off, deal with issues we would rather not face and make changes that make us feel uncomfortable. It prompts us to face who and where we are. What we do with that experience defines who we become.
No one likes bad experiences, its usually just painful. But as my mentor John Maxwell says, “if you manage the experience well, then you can enjoy talking about it afterward. It becomes a great war story.”
Life’s challenges do not allow us to stay the same, they move us. The question is, which direction will you allow it to move you in: forward or backward? You can choose to become bitter or better. You can allow the experience to limit you or lead you to grow.
Most successful people have had hard times that they describe as ‘times of development’ in their journey. Commit to managing hard times well because hard times are essential for anyone who wants to grow. If we don’t have hard times, then it is more difficult to truly enjoy the good times that follow.
I will end with this quote from Warren G Lester: “Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.”
(This blog contains edited extracts from 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth by John Maxwell)