The Boy That Flew: Reflections on Struck By Lightning

*This is the first of a monthly series of blogposts where I’m going to reflect on TV, movies, books and plays that have served as inspirations for me and have taught me lessons about leadership and life.* 

I’ve always loved Chris Colfer. He’s a personal hero and inspiration to me. His character on Glee, Kurt and his storylines has always been important to me, and his resiliency and strength have inspired me.

The character of Kurt was created specifically for him, he’s a New York Times bestselling author, has mastered stage, screen and the written word and he’s only 23.

His movie and book “Struck By Lightning” remains the  most influential part of his career (so far). The struggles Carson Phillips, Chris’ character in the story, faces were very similar to mine, and parts of the movie and book really helped process some of my own insecurities.

Here are my favourite quotes from the movie that had an impact on me.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in the past or try to forget the past, it’s what you do in the present.”

Part of Carson’s story is not getting what he wants, and has wanted for a while. At the time I read it, I was still struggling with not getting into the Concurrent Education program. I had wanted to be a teacher my entire life, and so when I didn’t get in, it was huge blow to my whole identity.

Nowadays, I’m extremely happy with my current career goal in Student Affairs. I finally found the program that’s right for me. However, it’s the present that matters. I can’t wait for the future, but I’m enjoying the present while it’s happening.

“Don’t try to find ideas, let the ideas find you.”

When it comes to writing, Carson and his friend Mallorie—performed by the always funny Rebel Wilson—said life, and inspiration are a lot like getting struck by lightning.

It’s been reported that Rebel improvised a lot of her lines in the film.

That’s what I try to live by. I’ve always loved writing, and when I have a dryspell of inspiration, those are the words I remember. I allow ideas to come to me. Like this very reflection you’re reading. 

“I wanted to be heard so bad, that I never though about listening.”

This has been a huge leadership/life lesson for me.

Everybody has a story. And a vital part of living is expressing your story. However, a lot of the time, there’s a lack of people willing to listen.

Chris listens to people. You should too.

Be the listener. Read someone’s poetry. Engage in a conversation with someone. Enjoy someone’s music. However they want to be heard, listen to them. It can teach you a lot about yourself

“If you overachieve yourself into the ground, you’ll never know what your real accomplishments are.”

It’s no secret I like doing stuff. And there have been a few times I may have been called an overachiever.

And I had to learn this lesson the hard way. There have been times in my life where I was doing so much, I never got to process any feelings, whether that be sadness, frustration, anger… or gratitude and pride.

I wasn’t able to recognize my own work because as soon as I completed one task, I was already on to the next one.

And sometimes those didn’t matter. I’ve joined clubs, taken leadership roles, and accepted additional projects, simply to do them. Not because I was passionate, but just because it was something else to do.

GPOY.

Take time to prioritize, learn how to balance time properly and make sure to take pride in your work.

Struck by Lightning is one of those movies I can watch, and one of those books I could read over and over again and always learn something new about myself.

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