Three Action Thursday

STOP Living in the Middle

This week’s 3AT is going to focus on a concept I have been thinking about a lot lately: that we as humans are mostly settling in life. We’re settling to “live in the middle”, and to follow a set script laid out for us from society, our family, and ourselves. Take a peek at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Most of us strive for the first four base levels of the hierarchy, choosing at that point to settle in the middle, cozy and comfy in some part of the “Psychological needs” section. It takes a lot more energy, purposefulness, and drive to plant ourselves squarely in the “Self-fulfillment needs” section of the hierarchy.

Pushing higher into the hierarchy is honestly what 3AT is truly about. In that vein, I’ve got three documentary-style movies that are intended to inspire and challenge you to be better than you were yesterday.

1. Adversity and Sacrifice Are Meant to Be Overcome
2. Audit Your Behavior First, Then Your Finances
3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


Adversity and Sacrifice Are Meant to Be Overcome. My wife and I have been really into watching documentaries lately. I strongly recommend one we recently viewed called “Dealt”. This documentary absolutely blew my mind, and I won’t spoil it with a heavy description. Trust me and watch the short trailer here. It’s truly amazing. I can’t remember the last time I finished a documentary only to want to immediately watch it again. I also can’t remember one that made me as emotional as this did, pushing me from laughter to tears. It’s a masterful visual biography. It is the definition of overcoming adversity and struggle to live an amazing life beyond the hand that you were “dealt”.

Perhaps you’ll be inspired to push beyond your life in the middle.

**Action: Watch the “Dealt” documentary, available on Amazon, and elsewhere. **


Audit Your Behavior First, Then Your Finances. The script that is delivered to us in life reads as follows: get good grades…get into college…get a good job…finance a car…get married…finance a house…procreate…try to be happy for 30-40 years…and then retire (maybe).

In the movie “The Big Short”, the demise of the U.S. housing market in 2006-2007 is recounted in a unique manner. It’s the true story of a handful of investors who bet against the U.S. mortgage market. Through their own research, they discovered that the U.S. mortgage-backed securities market was a bubble about to burst, and they invested accordingly. What they didn’t initially know was the level of corruption in the market — and the impact on the average person when the bubble burst.

Many Americans got burned in the collapse of the housing market, largely because of a lack of financial literacy, accepting too much risk, and not auditing “why” they wanted to buy a house in the first place. It is very hard to fight the scripted life laid out before us, and many still don’t understand what drove that bubble to burst. This movie will both educate and entertain you.

**Action: Watch “The Big Short” movie, available on Amazon, and elsewhere. **


There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
– Mister Rogers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I have another documentary for you! You need to watch “Mister Rogers & Me”. For me the message was strong: as humans, we need to go deeper and simpler. In no other domain is that more true than in building authentic relationships, which is the opposite of the way society is pushing us to go.

In the film, real-life Mister Rogers’ neighbor Benjamin Wagner, a journalist, and his brother Christofer come to know more than just the man and his luminous legacy. Their personal journey unearths the roots of Mister Rogers’ values, unmasks the forces acting against depth and simplicity, and helps them to develop the means to lead deeper simpler lives. Certainly, “Mister Rogers & Me” is more than just another documentary; it is a challenge to better ourselves and to recognize the importance of what is deep and simple. It is an invitation to appreciate every second and every moment, every person and every meeting, that we are blessed to experience.

**Action: Watch the “Mister Rogers & Me” documentary, available on Amazon, and elsewhere. **

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.