So what if the movies we love more than all others aren’t Oscar-worthy or even cult classics. We like what we like. For example, when “Field of Dreams” comes on I’ll sit and watch it even though I’ve seen it a hundred times. I decided to see what all of my favorite movies had in common. I was surprised to find there is a theme running through them and some lessons to be learned.
Back To The Future
I’m going to assume everyone has seen this film or knows what it’s about. What I realized attracted me to this movie is that events and decisions in our younger years can change the trajectory of our lives. Marty’s father faces his bully and instead of being a “failure” later in life becomes a best-selling author. Clearly, this resonated with me. The decisions we make today do determine our future.
Here’s an obscure film that most readers have probably not seen. Rick, a land-locked surfer wins a surf contest in an Arizona wave pool with the prize being a trip to the North Shore of Oahu. The character learns how to really surf as well as other valuable life lessons from Chandler, an older and wiser local surfer and shaper. Having a mentor is invaluable when we’re open to learning.
Based on the true story of Vince Papale, a down-on-his-luck bartender who attends a once-in-a-lifetime tryout by the Philadelphia Eagles and (against all odds) makes the team. This underdog story (like Rudy, Seabiscuit, and Rocky) proves that nothing is possible if you don’t take a chance and go for it and that heart and extra effort are the intangibles that push us past what seems impossible.
Even if others don’t believe in us, it’s a belief in ourselves that matters most.
Field of Dreams
Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is inspired by a voice he can't ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe. Ray begins the quest by turning his ordinary cornfield into a place where dreams can come true—a baseball field. Almost everyone thinks he’s crazy and he stands to lose everything, but his belief is so strong he plows ahead despite some doubts. The people who make it big often do so with a single-mindedness and a drive that defies logic. Success comes when we find something we believe in so strongly we won’t take no for answer and setbacks don’t stop us from moving forward.
The Shawshank Redemption
This is on many people’s favorite films list which is odd since it’s a prison movie. I believe what’s so special about this film is the friendship between Andy and Red, the plot twist nobody sese coming, and that everyone gets what they deserve in the end. Small, incremental efforts over time can have a big impact—a tiny rock hammer slowly chipping away at a prison wall over a period of years led to Andy’s avenue of escape.