Personal Mantras I’ve Adopted From (Unexpected) Movies

There’s a plethora of movies out there to spark hours of philosophical discussions: Would you erase a past lover from your memory? Would you take the blue or the red pill? Some remain in your head for days, some you might revisit from time to time and find new meanings.

These are NOT that kind of movie.

Here I’m talking about movies I’ve initially chosen merely for entertainment purposes, only to be stunned by a concept that stuck with me forever:

"Thank you. More, please" — from HappyThankYouMorePlease
This is a simple, light hearted film, filled with cute characters and filmed in New York—which tends to make movies 100x more enjoyable for me almost by default. But the most important part of this movie turned out to be this scene. I had read about gratitude and tried applying it, but it was always an on/off thing. It was only after this very simple scene that I truly connected with gratitude as a daily practice. Now, whenever something good happens, big or small, I say “Thank you, More Please”. That piece of cheekiness at the end might seem a bit disrespectful or greedy, but in my heart, I just feel like I’m sharing an inside joke with the Universe, which only adds joy to the appreciating.

“Love is not a feeling, is an ability” — from Dan in Real Life
Steve Carell plays Dan, but the aforementioned line is actually first spoken by a secondary character, igniting a turning point in Dan’s life and the life of the “women” around him (you’d have to watch). He also steals it later on. The way I see it, when you operate under your ability to love instead of being in love, it develops into a permanent state, independent of external circumstances (what others might do, say, feel), and that’s when love becomes truly unconditional.

“All forward motion counts” — from Elizabethtown
This is a movie about epic failures, family feuds, and death. An uplifting comedy, I swear! It's not Cameron Crowe’s best movie—not even one of his top 3—but it lent me a motto to tackle overwhelming to-do lists. The line belongs to Susan Sarandon, who plays the main character’s mom and a recent widow. She’s in the process of figuring out how to go on living without her husband, and you can feel her pain and her badassery, all at once. Now, when I’m packing up for a move, or projects are piling up, and laundry is piling up, I might still get overwhelmed, but I don’t get paralyzed. I just put one foot in front of the other because all forward motion counts.

This one I won’t quote in advance, instead here’s the scene. I repeat this one in my head when I have to deal with s#%*ty situations—those that life throws at you seemingly at random, I guess to check if you’re still paying attention. Well, nine times out of ten, I come out on the other side stronger and prouder. Sometimes you win-win, sometimes you learn, right?

Honorable TV mention:
“Every day give yourself a present” — from Twin Peaks
The premise is simple (as true wisdom usually is), perform an act of self-love daily. But here, I'll let Agent Cooper explain it much better.
And by god, I took this one by heart! A present #everydamnday