“You are the only person on earth who can use your ability”. ~ Zig Ziglar
I recently attended an event at Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) where local film organizations curated and presented short films. There were several excellent ones, but one of them deeply affected me, called “The World of Tomorrow” by Don Hertzfeldt. It is an animated film with many themes I personally enjoy: life purpose and meaning, time travel, futurism, cloning, etc. Something I usually do after seeing something I find outstanding is to research its creator. I looked for information on Mr. Hertzfeldt, and found an interesting interview with him, where he explains how he comes up with the ideas for a project.
He compares the process as being similar to floating at sea and trying to build a raft. At first, there is only you and the water. But then a piece of wood arrives and you hold on to it. Then a piece of cloth, then some string, and so on. You hold on to these pieces and start building your raft, without a specific design in mind. After some time, you have several pieces of material, and you discard some that do not fit with the ever changing design of the raft. The design of the raft also changes depending on new objects that you acquire, so it is an ever changing process.
I believe our lives function in the same manner as his example. We start alone and should build our own life raft. We obtain the necessary materials in the form of life advice from those close to us, which we hold on. Then our own experiences come drifting in, we meet various people along the way, as well as experience unexpected life challenges. As we get older, we realize we are in this for a long ride, so we re-evaluate what kind of raft we want to build for ourselves: a fast one to get “there” quickly, a comfortable one to avoid strife, or a sturdy one in case a storm comes along. We also start to let go of those ideas that no longer fit with our new design.
The important part is that we are not drifting away in the ocean, waiting for storms, winds, to carry us in a particular direction. We should start building our raft NOW, even though we believe we have no materials yet. But it is really not so, as we have many years of awareness, and no experience or skill is useless, we just need to look for those pieces and start putting them together. With patience and dedication, soon we will be floating along in our uniquely designed raft, perhaps find others working on building their own rafts, and we can pass along our tips to them. Keep sailing!
Watch a trailer of “World of Tomorrow”.
Still of Emily Prime from “World of Tomorrow” by Don Hertzfeldt, taken during PAMM exhibit.