“The Shift: Ambition to Meaning”

Until recently, I regarded Wayne Dyer as an inspirational speaker who is frequently trotted out by PBS during its fundraising drives to give an extended talk on personal growth, interspersed with program hosts pitching for contributions. Well, that is true — Wayne Dyer remains a PBS fundraising favorite. But I started looking at his work much more closely after viewing “The Shift — Ambition to Meaning” (2009), a full-length movie with Dyer and an ensemble of actors including Michael Marasco, Portia de Rossi, Michael DeLuise, Shannon Sturges, Ethan Lipton, and others.

The movie features a cluster of interweaving stories of people who find themselves at an oceanside hotel/retreat center, built around Dyer’s core message that many individuals shift from pursuing ambitions to seeking meaning in their lives. This shift typically occurs a bit later in life; hence the movie opens with Dyer quoting psychologist Carl Jung about how life philosophies that drive our earlier years may not be right for us during the second half of our lives.

I am mindful of the fact that people find this blog for different reasons, and some may not be in a place to watch anything deemed “inspirational” in a spiritual sort of way. So my recommendation of this movie is a qualified one: If you’re in a transitional stage in your life, and you’re open to messages and ideas about this transition that contain a spiritual theme, then you may get a lot out of this. Those who are exploring work and career transitions on a deeply personal level may find it especially meaningful.

Finally, a bit of clarification: The movie has been marketed under separate titles “The Shift” and “Ambition to Meaning.” In any event, it’s a two hour movie, and you can watch it by clicking the image embedded above or by going to YouTube. It’s also available commercially.

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