What has ‘The Hobbit’ got to do with your personal-development? It turns out far more than you might think.
Like many, we have just been to the cinema to see The Hobbit an Unexpected Journey, the first of three epic fantasy adventure films directed, co-written and produced by Peter Jackson and based on Tolkien’s classic 1937 fantasy novel of the same name.
The film has received a somewhat mixed response, with criticism of its new filmic techniques and the director’s decision to make three films out of the one book. Could the pacing sustain, the argument went?
As a big fan of Tolkien’s book it loomed large in my childhood memories as being a significant novel. As I (Julian) went into the film and the lights dimmed, I reflected on whether I would be disappointed with Jackson’s interpretation, so I decided to tell myself to put aside expectation and just enjoy the journey, as I would have done as a child.
So how does this help our personal development?It’s the concept of reluctance to change that is at the heart of the story’s beginning and perhaps indeed yours and mine.
A seemingly content Bilbo Baggins is living his life in Hobbiton, when a stranger arrives. Outside smoking his pipe and enjoying the morning Bilbo looks up to see an old man with a staff. Not recognizing him, or suspicious perhaps of strangers in the quiet of Hobbiton, Bilbo dismisses him with a series of ‘Good mornings’. As Gandalf remarks ‘What a lot of things you do use Good Morning for! Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won’t be good till I move off.’ (or words to that effect).
Later that night of course, heralds the arrival of the dwarves, with talk of caverns deep and mountains wild. Bilbo’s world is thrown on its head, and he awakes the next morning initially relieved that the dwarves are gone and he can go back to his unchanged world. But then he sees the contract he was offered to become the 14th member of the expedition. He remembers perhaps the interchange with Gandalf that there was a time as a young hobbit when he was excited by the thought of adventure.
We next see, him running down the hill, with a fellow villager shouting after him:
“Here Bilbo, where are you off to?” To which he replies, “I’m going on an adventure!”
And so to you. Do you remember a time when you were excited by the adventure of life? When the world was a vision of possibilities, hopes and aspirations.
At any point in our lives, there is opportunity for change, and yet for many we may be aware that life is not quite as we expected or wanted it to be, that there is something more.
It was that thought, that drove Bilbo to run down the hill and embark on his ‘Unexpected Journey’. Something has driven you to this page, to read this blog at this time.
You can wish us ‘Good Morning’ or perhaps you would like your own ‘Unexpected Journey’.
We’re not wizards and there’s no contract with us but if you have a desire to discover your own destiny, this could be the start of your own ‘Unexpected Journey’. We can’t promise it will all be a smooth ride (neither could Gandalf) but the treasures that await are worth the pursuit. So do what I did when I first entered that cinema: ‘Put aside expectation and just enjoy the journey, as you might have done as a child.’
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