How to Improve Your Situation, the Pixar Way

by Silly Mummy on July 5, 2013

pixar rule

In her list of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling, Pixar’s former story artist Emma Coats lists the following as Rule #4 in storytelling:

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Emma meant that a damn good story (on or off screen, I take it) should contain those stages.

So, if life is a story and if you want to change your destiny, what would it look like if we applied this rule to our personal stories? Well, let’s see. I’ve applied them to my most recent situation and also believe that anyone seeking change – any kind of change – can very well apply this rule to change their life story!

So what did I do? Here’s the problem I was facing, what I did, how I applied the rule and what the outcome was:

The Problem
I’m tired of my dead-end administration job and now that I’m done with my course I want to get into marketing project works. I’ve got no experience working directly in marketing and no one wants to hire a recent graduate without this experience.

My Idea
Fucking do something about it! Edit my story and get a new job! God!

Off we goooooo!

How I applied the Pixar Rule

Check it out again:

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

I edited my story before I made my move. This is how I wanted my story to turn out:

Once upon a time there was a woman. Everyday she did the same old boring crap job. One day she put her foot down and did something about it. Because of what she did she got invited to interviews. Because of her cravings got so strong she recruited help and practised, didn’t stop trying, until Finally, boom! She got hired!

 once upon pixar rule

And then I went on and actually edited my story by bringing my plan to life, the Pixar way!

Once upon a time there was a new graduate looking for a career transition to marketing but she had no experience.

Every day, she would look up job advertisements and applied for the best graduate ones but never succeeded.

One winter day, one of her interviewers honoured their ‘please contact me for interview feedback’ promise and told her she needed to have some experience even at internship level, and must have involved project work and some social marketing. Of course, she couldn’t quit her job just to go get internship, she has a family to help feed.

Because of that, she thought maybe she should quit her high-paying job, get a new part time job so she could find work experience in between.

Because of that, the graduate was stressing and unhappy and scared that if she chooses to do that she would be making a big mistake, financially and career-wise. So she cried, and got upset.

Until finally, some of her colleagues quit their jobs and their jobs were advertised internally. From what the graduate could see, she thought “hang on a minute, my employer has internal project work positions that look after community campaigns, and involve some social marketing.” What an awesome opportunity! She was totally motivated!

The graduate met with her mentor and brainstormed a What To Do plan to conquer one of those jobs, the one offering the most experience. A plan was formulated, answers were rehearsed and background reading of over 200 pages was done. And guess what? The graduate aced it and got a project job with project work and social marketing opportunity!

Go me! So I got a new job and I start on Monday 8 July! I packed my stuff in a box today and on Monday I will walk 10 steps across the floor and be at my new desk to report for my new job!

the pixar storytelling
The list of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling according to Emma Coats can be found here.

Pixar Image by Sjors van Berkel

Nutty Image from FreeDigitalPhotos

Have a situation you can apply this rule to?

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