We are complex creatures, so it’s almost natural for us to unnecessarily complicate everything. Our propensity to over-think even when the obvious is right in front of us is so great it spawned it’s own cliche – “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” The fact of the matter is that the simplest answer is usually the right one.
There’s a great scene in the Billy Bob Thornton movie Sling Blade that illustrates this perfectly. A man takes his broken-down rototiller to the small engine repair shop where the mentally challenged Karl Childers works. The man with the tiller, the shop’s owner and Skeeter, one of the shop’s mechanics, tinker with the machine, but can’t get it to start. Finally, they call Karl over to help. Within about five seconds, Karl shows why her’s a whiz with engines. After looking the tiller over, he bends down, unscrews the cap from the motor, and says, “It ain’t got no gas in it.”
As humorous as this scene is, it’s not farfetched. I vividly remember when I managed the Production Department of a small TV station several years ago and other employees would seek me out when they were having technical difficulties.
“The _______ isn’t working,” they’d say. (Fill in the blank with deck, camera, monitor, computer or electronic device of your choice).
I always responded with one or more of the following questions: 1) Is it turned on? 2) Is it plugged in? 3) Is there a battery in it?
“Yes,” they’d reply. ”It’s just not working.”
I’d go check the allegedly malfunctioning gear and, 90% of the time, would find that: 1) It wasn’t turned on. 2) It wasn’t plugged in. 3) It didn’t have a battery in it.
I repeat: the simplest answer is usually the right one.
What is true in small matters, tends to be true in larger matters as well. Including the largest ones of all, such as establishing the course of – and determining the purpose of – your life.
That’s what today’s “Life Lesson at the Movies” shows us. In the clip above, from Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman) wealthy businessman Herman Blume finds himself curiously intrigued by perpetual overachiever Max Fischer, a classmate of his sons at The Rushmore Academy. Fischer has seemingly established himself as the de facto king of his prep school, and loves every minute of it. When Blume asks Max what his secret is, Fischer replies:
“I think you just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life.”
I think Max Fischer is right, and it’s really just that simple – find something you love, and do it for the rest of your life.
If you do, I can almost guarantee you will be happier, healthier and not only love what you do, but love the life your doing it in.
If you’re not exactly loving your life right now – you now have the remedy. Make this shift and great things will happen.
I’m living proof, and if I can do it, anybody can.
If everybody on earth did what they loved, I think there’s a good chance we’d instantly solve at least half of the world’s problems.
It turns out, the mysteries of life aren’t that mysterious after all. The key to life is to enjoy living. And the way to enjoy living is to fill your time with what makes you happy. To know what your purpose is and follow it.