Last Tuesday's post was on using your five favorite movies to discover your innovative character. It received some great tweets and spurred fun exchanges on Twitter. Lesley Heizman, a Curriculum Technical Specialist for the Blue Valley School District in the Kansas City area, was nice enough to share her list of movies and what she learned about herself from the exercise:

The Brainzooming post on finding your own innovative character has me thinking – what would MY character be???

Lately I find myself unsatisfied with my career but not knowing what direction I want to head.  I've taken tests and read articles that talk about doing your best work at the current job you have to figure out what you love and what stimulates you, but it seems so long since I've been inspired by something I think to myself, "What do I like anymore? What challenges me? What are my strengths?"

I feel like I'm not sure!  I feel creatively blocked.  My mojo is gone.  So, I'm taking the Innovative Character challenge.

My 5 favorite movies:

  • "The Hangover" - A hilarious comedy about a bachelor party in Vegas.
  • "Old School" – Another comedy I love-seeing a pattern here? I think I have the movie taste of a high school boy.
  • "Ocean's 11" – I love the cast of characters in this movie and just the whole “feel” of the movie.

Looking at my movies and thinking about what they have in common, these things occur to me:

  • They all have teams of people working towards a specific goal. In "The Hangover," they are trying to find their friend. In "Gone in 60 Seconds," they are stealing a list of cars. In "Ocean’s 11," it’s outsmarting a casino.
  • Humor. Oh, the characters! Basher in "Ocean's 11," Donny Astricky in "Gone in 60 Seconds," Vince Vaughn as Bernie Campbell in "Old School."  It takes quite an expert to outsmart a casino or steal a specific list of cars in 24 hours. They all get bonus points for doing it while having a sense of humor.
  • Each movie has a character who is bucking the traditional and doing what they want. In "Quantum of Solace," Daniel Craig is taking down the thief in his own way, screw the MI5. In "Ocean's 11" they are stealing from a famous casino in which no one has been successful stealing from before.  In the "Hangover," Zach Galifianakis sings to his own tune.

So, what does this tell me about myself?

When thinking about these qualities in relation to my current career, some of it does make sense. Often I am training people or doing projects where people might feel uncomfortable, using humor a lot to relieve some of that tension.  I love being the expert at a topic - give me something to learn, I will quickly pick up on it and be able to teach others how to do it.  I love working in teams.

Some things my characters taught me?

I don't do well with vague situations or goals. I need specific goals to work toward or get frustrated.  I need to start looking at more non-traditional ways to do the work I’m doing.  Employers that let their staff to do their work on their own time or devise interesting ways to do old tasks fascinate me. As I get older and start a family, I want my work to be important. Anytime I'm working is taking time away from my family, and if it's not something I love it simply doesn't feel worth it.  Perhaps taking a non-traditional career path could help me out in this department?

Anyway, it was a very interesting exercise that got my creativity flowing for a bit!  Slowly I can feel it coming back….it's been lost for too long. - Lesley Heizman