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Play it again Sam…

Play it again Sam…

Klawisze pianina

Play it again Sam……

Probably one of the most misquoted lines in cinema history.  Most people will be aware of the famous scenes from Casablanca.  A legend of a movie in my opinion.   But what’s it got to do with coaching I hear you ask?

Well, it’s all about how we make movies in our minds.  We frequently base our life on what has happened to us in the past.  Our experiences, our beliefs our morals, how we were brought up. When something happens to us we create a movie in our mind of what happened.  But the really important thing to remember is that this will be a movie reflecting our perception of what happened.

And that’s not the only time we create movies.  When we think about the future we create movies about what we think will happen.  When we hear somebody say something or when we see someone  do something we create a movie about what they we will do and what we will do in response.  But we ‘create’ it… it’s all in our mind.

Now, I love the cinema and have seen some amazing movies and some total trash, but fundamentally they are all the product of  someone’s imagination.  Even those based on a true story are created from imagination, from someone’s perception of what has happened. And that’s exactly what we are doing.  Taking some information and turning it into a movie of what we think has happened or will happen.  There are two important lessons to take from this.

If it’s a movie from the past it may not be relevant to what we are doing now.  What worked for us in the past may not work for what we are doing now.  Even worse, what we’ve done in the past may not have worked but because of our movie we will do the same again!  And you know what they say, if you keep doing what you’ve always done you keeping getting the same results.  So, you can look at the movie you’ve made, but don’t take it as the whole truth.  Take what you need from it but then reflect on what you know now as well.

And what about movies about the future?  Well despite coaching for sometime now I still fall foul of this one.  Essentially it is human nature.  Someone will say or do something and I will take it and create a whole blockbuster.   Turning one or two words spoken in a moment,  into  a trilogy of how my life will turn out.  How do I deal with it?  Well, the most important tool is just to be aware of it.  To know that I am making it up, creating, directing and producing my own movie.  But that’s all it is, a creation in my mind.  Accept this and realise it’s not true.  We have no idea what will happen to us in the next minute, never mind hour, week , month or year.  Recognise this and tell yourself it’s just a movie.  Not true.  A construct.  That’s the start of helping you understand.

So, the next time you turn into Steven Spielberg, creating a movie about yourself and your life…. remember that you may win an Oscar for it, but it’s not your real life.  Enjoy your life now, prepare for the future, but never believe you can predict it.  Because just like Sam, you can play it again and again………..