The plot:

A romantic comedy about an American family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple. Gil and his fiancée, Inez, are in Paris, having a vacation with family and by chance with friends. Gil is a successful but dissatisfied Hollywood screenwriter, now working on his first novel. Inez and the others are very demeaning both to Gil and the idea of him writing a novel.

While alone walking at night, Gil gets in a car with some friendly strangers. Gil soon discovers he has been transported to the 1920s, an era he admires and idolizes in his to-be-novel. While there, he encounters and interacts with famous literary icons and artists who help him with his novel and his life.

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And here is the lesson to remember from this movie…

In the end he discovers that longing for a “golden past” is a recurring theme of any time period, as some prefer to be nostalgic about a romanticized past rather than accepting the messy present and uncertain future.

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When we read about the lives of the great achievers of the past, we are often impressed with their accomplishments. What we fail to realize is that many of them had their own struggles and daily frustrations to deal with.

Just like us!

The grass always seems to be greener elsewhere.

But is it really?

The challenge at any given time (or era) is to use the resources that are available to us in the best possible way.

And before you start making excuses, try to rembember this quote from Jackson Brown, the writer,

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per daythat were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”
 
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“The future will depend on what we do in the present”

Mahatma Gandhi

(1869-1948)

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We all know this, it is so simple to understand when we read it. However, the challenge is not only to read it and understand it, the real challenge is to practice what we understand so well.

Yes, practice it day in day out, especially when you have distractions, a bad day or a good day.

Whatever is your dream, your project, your goal, pursue it relentlessly without wasting time.

You need a burning desire to keep you absorbed and focused, even when you have so many responsibilities and distractions.

Will you?

“If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions.”

“If you want to know your future, look into your present ACTIONS.”

Chinese proverb

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“There are very few men – and they are the exceptions – who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment”.
 
 Carl Von Clausewitz 1780-1831
 
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One of the most difficult things to practice in our lives is to delay gratification and to take a long term perspective with our projects. Our consumer society doesn’t help us when it encourages us to BUY NOW and PAY LATER. Many times, we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who don’t care. We should always try to make the difference between an expense and an investment. We should try to avoid instant gratification. It’s a big challenge because it goes against every major trend in our society.
 
It applies to other areas in our lives as well;
 
The Olympic athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices to reach his/her goal. The medical student has to concentrate on his/her classes in order to get the diploma. The investor has to learn patience if he or she wants to earn dividends.
 
It is difficult because we should enjoy every day like if it is the last and at the same time invest our efforts and our resources for the future. The challenge for us is to find the balance between these two concepts.
 
Do you have the right balance between your daily activities and your long term projects?