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LIFE: Build Your Story

LAUGHTER: "If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like."

Movie quote from: Garden State (2004) - Sam (Natalie Portman)

gardenIn the 2004 film Garden State, Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) is an emotionally numb burnout whose life experiences have caused him to completely withdraw from family and friends.  Fortunately for him, he meets Sam (Natalie Portman), a woman whose abundant vitality lights the way for his own return to life.  The story of 'Large' is far too common.  We're taking ourselves too seriously.

LEARNING: “I have five lessons to teach. What lessons they learn is entirely up to them.”

Movie quote from: Nanny McPhee (2006) - Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson)

nannyAll new learning happens when someone connects something new to something familiar.  This places the responsibility for learning squarely on the shoulders of the learner.  Good teachers/leaders can make it easier for learners to connect; they may even provide new experiences upon which new understandings and/or capabilities can grow.  A surprising model for good teaching/leading is found in the title character of the movie Nanny McPhee.

VENTURE: "Danger is the spice of life and you've got to take a risk now and then...that's what makes life worthwhile."

Movie quote from: The World's Fastest Indian (2005) - Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins)Indian II

You are never too old to take a chance on your dreams.  In The World's Fastest Indian, an aging New Zealander named Burt Munro pursues a 25-year goal of driving his motorcycle as fast as it can go on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah.  Everyone thinks he's crazy.  In truth, the only crazy thing would be constructing a life where everything is certain.  Everyone at every age needs to be working on a uncertain venture that matters.  It puts more life into your day.   

CHOICE: "Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you're gonna get."

Movie quote from: Forrest Gump (1994) - Mrs. Gump (Sally Field)

ForrestIn the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest asks his mother what his destiny will be.  She responds with the now-famous line, "Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest.  You never know what you're gonna get."  Forrest is unsure of this perspective.  It differs from what he has heard from Lieutenant Dan - a man who believes, "We all have a destiny.  Nothing just happens, it's all part of a plan."  Choice or destiny - what most shapes our lives? Who would have thought the answer would arrive later in this same movie.     

RESILIENCE: "Nothing that has meaning is easy."

Movie quote from: The Weather Man (2005) - Robert Spritz (Michael Caine)

Weather ManThe Weather Man features Nicolas Cage as a TV personality who does not value the person he has become.  Compared to his father, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, his life seems insignificant.  He spends his day making hopeless attempts to impress his disappointed father, his two troubled children, and his embittered ex-wife.  His search for meaning is focused in all the wrong places.    

PROACTIVE LIVING: "Every show is your last show. That's my philosophy."

Movie quote from: A Prairie Home Companion (2006) - G.K. (Garrison Keillor)  

 In his movie, 'A Prairie Home Companion' (2006), Garrison Keillor casually comments that, "Every show is your last show. That's my philosophy." This is a wise way to view the world. Once you appreciate that nothing lasts forever, you are more likely to make sure you get full value out of each remaining day.

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