But, that being said, I would argue that every once in a while a nugget of truth or gem of wisdom falls out of the cesspool of narcissism and greed that is America’s movie industry. Truths that transcend the banality of the moving picture shows that contain them.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of some quotes to live by:
1. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” (The Empire Strikes Back, 1980)
The sticky wicket that is Star Wars philosophy aside, we have to approach things with a belief that we can accomplish them. Maybe we succeed, maybe we fail. But we cannot tip-toe through our lives like Tiny Tim in the tulips, trying to do things without putting a real effort into it. I’m really bad about this. I tell myself more often than I truly care to admit that “I’m trying to do this” or “I’m trying to make that happen”. But really all I’m doing is thinking and planning and scheming and wasting time. You can’t pretend to do it. You can’t do it without believing that you can do it. Do it or don’t.
2. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” (Forrest Gump, 1994)
As humans, it’s very easy to take a myopic view of whatever your current situation is. Good or bad, it can be difficult to remember that life is a series of moments and those moments can vary greatly from one another. Remember Mr. Gump’s statement as often as you can. Savor the taste of those sweet moments, choke down the less desirable ones, and keep reaching for the next moment with a sense of wonder and adventure. Oh, and life will make you fat.
3. “If you build it, he will come.” (Field of Dreams, 1989)
I’m going to stretch this one a bit, so try to stay with me. I think the deeper meaning here is shared by this article at Cracked.com. In a nutshell, if you want something – money, friendship, success, love, respect, whatever – you have to act first and deserve it. You don’t achieve by just being a pleasant person or because you want it really bad. People need things and if you don’t deliver for them in some way that is unique to you, they will go elsewhere and you’ll be left without whatever it is you want. It’s a hard truth, as the article says (much better than I do here, I might add), but it’s a truth that is worth learning sooner rather than later. Quit wishing and hoping really hard and start building.
4. “Clever girl.” (Jurassic Park, 1993)
Two lessons from this simple phrase. Girls are smart and should you ever find yourself being hunted by velociraptors in an island jungle, watch out for the one on your left. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I could switch the terms “girls” and “velociraptors” in the previous sentence and still make a valid point.
5. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” (The Princess Bride, 1987)
Professionals, especially those self-employed, take note. This is how you package yourself; make you into a brand that people can identify with. It’s short, it’s well-rehearsed, it identifies the man, it has a clear statement of intent. Your brand is more than your business card and letterhead. It’s your willingness to slay the people who murder your family.
I’m sure there’s plenty more quotes out there that you can live by, but seriously, at some point you have to stop lugging that giant book of quotes around and start living. So go, my minions, and do it, build it, taste it, watch out for the one on the left and let the world know you have a mission.
That’s all folks.