Over at Michael Hyatt’s Blog, he recently published a guest post by author, Mary DeMuth, focused on “Finding Your Passion in Three Steps”.  It was a very informative and insightful post, yet there was one section that I kept thinking about and coming back to.  In DeMuth’s three-step process, she includes a favorite exercise she learned from a “writer’s loop”.  The goal of this exercise is to immediately list, without thinking about it too much, your three favorite movies.  Don’t ponder the choices, debate about it in your head, or compare various options…just choose.  Then, examine those three movies and determine the common thread that runs through each.  Her intention is to show that choices resemble your passion in life.  For example, DeMuth picked Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird with the common thread being “outcasts who overcome their past to absolutely change the world”.

I found the discussion of the exercise so completely fascinating, I decided to try it out myself.  Be warned – you will look at your first three choices and think “What?  I can do better!” and you will want to pick again.  Don’t!  Take your three choices and run with it.  So without further ado, here are my three movie picks:

  • The Natural
  • The Usual Suspects
  • Casablanca

So what is the common thread?  In short order, the thematic elements of the three movies started to emerge into one comprehensive theme:  Relative unknown people accomplishing great things against significant odds.  And after I looked at this conclusion (and if you have a different conclusion as to the common elements of the three I would love to hear about it), I can honestly say I was not surprised.  This theme is very much related to things I have written and/or struggled with:  my desire to be significant, my hatred of injustice, my struggle with power and prestige.  Certainly do not think this little exercise is a complete psychological self-analysis that should determine a path for your life or is something that is fool-proof and set in stone.  Don’t be silly.  But take it for what it is.  Something that is fun, provides some insight and doesn’t take a lot of time.  Enjoy! 

So how about you?  What are your three movies and the common thread?