America was started by brave people fighting for freedom. Fight Club (1999) isn’t about a physical war, but rather an internal fight for freedom and independence.
While re watching my favorite movie for the fourth time right before the fourth of July I began taking notes and writing this post. There are great life lessons and quotes within the movie to help you improve yourself personally and professionally. Here are the ones I found exciting.
1. If you need something, just ask for it.
In the movie Brad Pitt's character tells Edward Norton this after Ed beats around the bush about asking to stay at his place. The same goes for life and business. Just ask for it. I recently read a quote from Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, “A**holes get what they want, because they ask for it.”
You’re not always going to come off as an a**hole if you ask for what you need, or want. More often than not people are excited to help when and how they can. Another quote I remember from my childhood growing up in a family of eight, was “you can’t get fed, unless you open your mouth”. If you want help you have to ask for it.
2. Sometimes you have to tear down the old before you can build anew.
At the beginning of the movie before Tyler (Edward Norton) can create his new life he has to tear down his old. He does this by blowing up his condo with all of his cherished items and products inside.
You don’t have to be this extreme, but if you really want to stop a bad habit, or start a new one you have to cut something out. You have to make a radical change.
3. Don’t be a slave to what you have.
Don’t let your belongings run your life and make you who you are. Nothing lasts forever and you can’t take it with you when you die. Your wants and desires will change throughout your life anyways so don't become so attached to what you have.
Your experiences are worth more than what you have, nobody can take them away from you.
4. Be vulnerable, be verbal, be honest.
Be all of these things with yourself and with strangers. In the movie Edward Norton finds release in sharing with others at his recovery groups. Vulnerability gives him a release.
I was down in the dumps during the month of June and this is not normal for me, especially for so long. What snapped me out of it was being vulnerable. Being honest with myself. I always strive for this, but the tipping point was being verbal. I started an inner dialogue and got to the bottom of my problems. It was a powerful moment. Don't be afraid to ask yourself what's wrong, or why you're doing what you’re doing.
5. “Even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart”
Watching this movie for the fourth time this is the first time I’ve really noticed this quote and it really resonated with me this time. Even masterpieces and works of art like each and every one of us falls apart. At least at some point. The message I got out of this is you're still a masterpiece. You’re still a beautiful piece of art. Even if you’re falling apart you're still the Mona Lisa and you still have an impact on others.
6. “Don't talk to Marla about me” –– miscommunication causes problems
Communication is key in relationships with others and with ourselves. Edward Norton is oblivious to his alter ego because of a lack of communication. Brad Pitt tells him not to talk to Marla about him. When he finally does is when it all comes crashing down and Edward Norton begins to be aware of his true self and the nature of Brad Pitt’s character.
7. No pain, no gain
Pitt tells Norton without sacrifice and pain we would have nothing. He’s absolutely right. Think about where you are in life, wherever that may be. You didn't get there without some major pain and sacrifice. And if you did dodge any noticeable pain, or sacrifice your parent(s) and ancestors surely did.
8. Give up fear, know you’re going to die
Pitt tells Norton this in the movie and it immediately reminded me of Steve Jobs’ famous quote, “remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve encountered to help me make big choices in my life”.
In the movie Norton, an automotive recall assessor, says on a long enough time line a person’s survival rate is zero. We’re all going to die eventually. Some of us sooner than others. Really knowing this and understanding it is what leads to you ridding yourself of the fear and taking advantage of the life you do have left.
If you’ve ever had a deep conversation with me, or have read some of my other articles and posts you will know I believe the opposite of love to be fear not hate. I think fear is what breeds hate. I also agree with the analogy that love is truth and when you really know the truth of something you are no longer fearful of it nor do you hate it.
9. “After we’ve lost everything, we’re free to do anything”
We are naked in this world. As mentioned above and in the movie we are not our belongings. We are our behaviors, our experiences, and much more. We are all going to die and it really could be at any time. Take risks, get out there and do what you were meant to do with your life. If you don't know yet get out there and find it. You’re not necessarily going to know for sure by sitting in your room and meditating or thinking about it all day. Do something and find out for yourself. Experience different things and pay attention to how they make you feel.
If you already know what it is are you doing it. Are you chasing that dream or dreams?Don't let anything hold you back. What separates success and true failure is perseverance.
10. “Our great war is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives”
I like this quote and I compare it to America’s Great Depression. What got us out of our Great Depression? World War II. Our lives are our Great Depression and we need to start fighting our spiritual war. We need to start inner dialogues and build our relationships with ourselves. Same goes for you and your higher power if you believe in one. These are the things that will bring you true fulfillment and success throughout life.
11. “You wanna make an omelet, then you gotta crack some eggs”
In reference to #7 you have to make some sacrifices to get what you want. Unfortunately Brad Pitt is talking about the death of Bob, a member of Project Mayhem, who gets shot during a heist. I’ve always liked this quote because it tells you to forget the haters and naysayers (and I love to cook and eat eggs). You might not rub everyone the right way, but sometimes that happens on your path to getting what you want.
Our forefathers took on extreme risk when signing the Declaration of Independence and fighting a war against an established country with a powerful navy and many colonies and resources around the world. They knew they wanted their freedom omelet. For themselves, for their families, and their neighbors. They along with many others throughout our couple hundred years history have risked their lives to give us the freedom we have today. They cracked eggs for us to enjoy the omelet.
I have an attitude of gratitude to EVERYONE involved in making and maintaining our freedoms centuries ago and today. Thank you.
I want to know who has made sacrifices directly for you, let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or message me directly.