Tune in to see John's documentary Lost in Woonsocket featured on "Super Soul Sunday" on Sunday morning, Feb. 26, at 11/10c on OWN.
While filming Random 1, a documentary-style reality TV series, director John Chester met two homeless men in Woonsocket, R.I., that would change his life forever. These men became the subjects of his documentary, Lost in Woonsocket, and John learned many life lessons from filming this movie. Here, he shares some of his insights.
The real secret is... the ones who help others enjoy a healthy dose of positive energy feedback.
I often say making the film Lost in Woonsocket revealed that life secret to me. In the beginning, we were making a documentary TV series about helping people. Regardless of whether our help worked, the team and I began to notice how amazing we felt inside. The feeling just kept building and building. It was pure energy.
Personally, I was left with a full heart and content to a degree that I had never felt before. Energized, empowered and proud. Yes, we were all frustrated that the good deeds were not always the cure for those we met, but somehow the act itself changed us. Fortunately, all of our brains are wired to respond in a positive way when reaching outside of ourselves.
Perhaps this is why firefighters are generally perceived as happier than cops.
This experience has taught me that happiness can be achieved indirectly. When I'm really frustrated with the world, nothing's going my way, and plans are falling apart, that's the moment I stop and look for a way to do something for someone else. Maybe it's making a connection for a friend's son who's looking to become a filmmaker, or it's taking a moment to cut your elderly neighbor's grass.
It's as if the act of helping another unlocks that negative sense that the whole world's trying to stop me and puts me back into a flow, back into the positive feedback loop. I believe being in this mental state is required to reach our personal life goals. When we start to feel defeated while pursuing our own goals, that feeling can negatively impact the decisions we make. Therefore, it's important to get out of that head space and do something to change your frame of mind. Helping someone else might do just that.
Realizing this has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities and blessings. Not to mention it's the right thing to do.
Give it a try.
Find out more about Lost in Woonsocket at LostinWoonsocket.com.
Find out more about Lost in Woonsocket and purchase the DVD at LostinWoonsocket.com.