Social media can kill

Social media is a mixed blessing, it is almost unparalleled in unforgiving speed, much like an F1 car in the wrong hands. In a climate of assessing the value that we all bring to the smorgasbord of life, the mixture of new technology, aspiration and creativity form the backdrop for a new movie called Chef.

Chef puts heart on the menuChef-Movie

Chef is one man’s journey of rediscovering who he really is, or perhaps more accurately who he could be. Many of us will have harboured dreams of “doing our own thing” some of us get to do this. Most do not; for a vast array of reasons, perhaps “financial security” being one of the more obvious and understandable concerns. This is not quite the usual “American Dream” yarn, but it certainly holds onto the vital ingredients of one.

In essence, we have a man trapped without realising that he is holding the keys. It takes a fairly pithy exchange on social media to expose his repressed feelings about the life he is leading, which catapults him into taking stock and renewing his passion for life….and love. Why I like the film, is that, ok it’s sentimental, (so what!) but in fairness, the main character is a decent guy, he works hard, he’s present, though not always available for his son and he’s making a good living by making great meals. He’s a good chef. Normally films of this genre are more heavy-handed, with the character in crisis at the bottom of his “luck”. This isn’t really the case in Chef.

What Chef offers is the view that life can be more fulfilling…. More flavoursome!…and that perhaps many of the answers are close at hand – perhaps close at home. That the skills you have are enough, but the courage of self belief is lacking. This is not a rags to riches story in the traditional sense, but an unveiling of life’s riches. It combines a sense of the authentic, natural but doesn’t lay waste to, or pour scorn on, the many advantages that modern technology can bring and its ability to make viable “new communities”.

Making a killing?

On one hand, this could be seen as a story about entrepreneurialism, though I don’t think this is really the case, there are admittedly similarities. Rather like entrepreneurs, there is a sense of creating a better future and making choices about it and then decisions to act. This reminded me of a podcast I recently listened to by Dan Sullivan who outlined the difference between choices and decisions. He argues that these are not interchangeable terms, but that a choice is about the future. A decision is about how much of the past you want to take into that future. He reminds us of the Latin root word for “decide” is found in patricide, suicide and so on, a sense of putting to death or killing parts of the past that are not welcomed into the future. So I wonder how many of us are living out a future that hasn’t properly been “chosen” and has yet to “kill off” the unhelpful elements of the past? How might this be the case in your financial planning?

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA