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In The LEGO Movie, during the scene where Emmet and his gang arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land, Unikitty, with her effervescent (bordering on psychopathic bi-polar) personality describes the appearing-like-a-circus, multi-colored, multi-styled, multi-use-of-drugs-infused-into-plastic society as being intolerant of negativity, which she …...

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One 3D lego yellow block

Filed Under , , , on January 3rd, 2015

The LEGO Movie Way

By Seth Kabala

In The LEGO Movie, during the scene where Emmet and his gang arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land, Unikitty, with her effervescent (bordering on psychopathic bi-polar) personality describes the appearing-like-a-circus, multi-colored, multi-styled, multi-use-of-drugs-infused-into-plastic society as being intolerant of negativity, which she describes as follows:

“Here in Cloud Cuckoo Land, there are no rules. There’s no government, no babysitters, no bedtimes, no frownie faces, no bushy mustaches, and no negativity of any kind.”

“You just said the word ‘no,’ like, a thousand times,” Wyldestyle says.

“There’s also no consistency,” Unikitty says, conceding the point.

Consistency fails to exist in Cloud Cuckoo Land, but it successfully appears in The LEGO Movie in the form of humorous, unifying, veiled messages to adults, e.g. Batman’s exaggerated claim of having hit the button to unlock the gate into President Business’ office tower/lair on the “first try,” and when everybody writes off the double-decker couch, which ultimately saves their asses, as being “just the worst,” per Vitruvius. The LEGO Movie is a smorgasbord of life lessons.

Today’s appetizer is a compote of The LEGO Movie lessons and New Year’s Resolutions.

How does The LEGO Movie compare to setting New Year’s Resolutions? It compares on the basis of understated common sense–goals that are there enough to be noticed, but not so huge they smack you in the face with their presence, annoying you with the constant reminder of how tough they will be to accomplish and how far from achieving your goals you still are. The collection of simple, understated, and common sense is a better way to go than complicated, overstated, and illogical.

My list of 2015 New Year’s Resolutions looks similar to previous year’s lists: read x number of books, publish x number of pieces, have sex xxx number of times. The usual stuff. This year, though, I’ve decided to take a cue from the understated life lessons of The LEGO Movie and pare down the size and scope of my goals.

What do I mean by this? Instead of saying what I’d like to do, I’m saying what I believe is possible. For example, for years, I’ve wanted to buy a cheap suit, take it to a tailor, and see if it’s possible to achieve the $5,000 Armani look spending less than $500–and do this one time, taking what I hope will be a favorable result and parlaying that into a wardrobe Barney Stinson would be proud of, or in what would have been the words of Jessie Pinkman, if he had been into fashion, Suit, Bitch!  

Most of my writing concentrates on professional topics, academia, and humor. But I also love to write fiction. I believe fiction writing contributes to excellence in all areas of writing. The more we can stretch our abilities, reasonably so, the better honed and diversified our skills will be when considered in total. To this end, I’ve resolved to publish (not self-publish. Actually publish) one work of short fiction, not 50, which is a simple, understated goal, one that will be difficult to achieve, for sure, but one that I understand and can develop a plan to follow to success.

I am guilty of high crimes in the area of writing a to-do list 100 items long, accomplishing 37 (yes, exactly 37), and feeling like a failure for all the lost opportunity, failing to recognize my achievements. This year I pledge to live by The LEGO Movie example of understated presentation of adult life lessons, check off everything, and feel like the success I know I already am.

The LEGO Movie: self-help material redefined.

 

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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