I recently noticed two major life lessons playing out in Gone with the Wind, which I hadn’t watched in over 15 years. With so many juicy scenes, I was reminded why its a classic. And funny how you interpret things differently over time and with experience. My older self enjoyed it on a whole new level and the coach in me noticed two stand out scenes.
If you’ve seen it, do you remember the ending?
I think the majority of people would say it ended with Rhett Butler walking out the front door with his famous line “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Damn indeed! Pretty edgy in 1939.
The Actual Ending
There’s about 90 more seconds left in the movie. After Rhett’s dramatic exit, Scarlet O’Hara throws herself on the stairs, her life in shambles, with her true love having just walked out the door and her daughter having just died in a tragic accident.
She realizes if she wants to put herself back together – to reconnect with herself – she needs to go back home to Tara, the southern plantation where she grew up. In that moment, she acknowledges Tara is a power source that will help her regain her mojo and her true love.
What a dynamic scene! It would be so easy to throw in the towel at this point. But she knows she needs to get into action, head back to Tara, and absorb the energy of her home to prevail over her recent hardships.
Life Lessons #1: Reconnect with a place/time where you felt powerful and fulfilled.
When life throws you a curve ball, which you can count on, how will you reconnect with your gifts, strengths, happiness and confidence? How will you get back on track? Where is your happy place?
Your happy place (featured in Happy Gilmore, as well, for you movie buffs) can be an actual place. There’s a 99% chance it’s going to be tied to something that feeds one or more of your core values. It might be:
- Your home (values: family, order, security)
- The ocean/water ( beauty, nature, creativity)
- A loved vacation spot (family, connection, belonging, adventure)
- A time when you were successful or in love. (fully living your values like love, leadership or recognition)
But this “place” can also be internal which is easily missed with the swirling external chaos.
Take inventory of the skills and gifts that have helped you in the past. When you are at your best and happiest, what are you doing? Who are you with? Where were you? Take stock.
This external or internal happy place provides a positive, motivational visualization for your future. When you close your eyes, you can see it, smell it, feel it, and taste it. In this place/time, you feel energized, excited and powerful. You make good decisions and you are creative. You are challenged and taking daily action, but the “work” feels like you are floating downstream. Find this place and you needn’t fight the current. Putting yourself in an environment where you utilize what comes naturally conserves your energy. Whether this life lesson is a spot on the map or a visualization of ease, fulfillment and tranquility, visit the spot to refuel and connect with what’s most important.
When the poo hits the fan, very intentionally revisit what you need and want. Perhaps that thing you lost or the opportunity that didn’t come to fruition is a blessing. Now is the time to redefine what success and happiness mean to you. Align your future actions with your values, priorities and new awareness. Adopting this life lesson will keep your head above water and moving forward.
Scarlet travels back to Tara towards the end of the Civil War. It was a harrowing, exhausting trip. She returns to find her mother dead and her father crazy. Everyone in the battered household is despondent and looking to Scarlet for answers. She runs into the garden, starving, and finds an old carrot that she devours and then throws up.
If you haven’t seen the movie, just know this visual was pretty “in your face” for an old movie.
But, surprisingly, Scarlet rises against the silhouette of a blood red sunset and pumps her fist in the air vowing to never be broke or hungry every again. You know she’s not screwing around – she means it with every fiber of her being.
Life Lessons #2: Discover your non-negotiables, set an intention and get to work.
What do you want more than anything? Find that thing that would drive you into a rage or bitter disappointment if I said you couldn’t have “it.” Choose those things that would have you pumping your fist. Game changers.
A very small percentage of people take the time to figure out their greatest, most inspiring dreams and even fewer actually write goals to support them. Yet, studies have shown over and over that if you commit, write and take action around a goal, your success rate and wealth can easily triple. I can’t think of a good reason why someone wouldn’t want to triple her income, so why not implement these life lessons?
If you want extraordinary, you can’t set ordinary goals. This means no more shrinking from your goals. Don’t set a “safe” goal so you won’t disappoint yourself if you don’t hit it. What’s your goal – wealth, impact, connection, change? Now double it, triple it. Keep going until you feel nervous. That fear and excitement that arises means you are getting into the energy of a life changing goal.
Notice when you DON”T tie your goal to something that is so wicked powerful, that you let it go by the way side, with nary a thought. The short term hurdles get in the way because they seem more like mountains if you don’t have your eye on the big payoff. In addition to keeping your eye on the bigger future goal, it is imperative that you keep moving, even in very small baby steps. Momentum is key! (Head over to this post for ideas.)
What’s in your way?
I’d bet $100 you’ve heard these two life lessons before, but are you implementing? If not, YOU are in your way. So get out of your way. Easy? No.
A must is to acknowledge this resistance and accept that you own your results – 100%. That’s a tough nugget for most people to swallow. Do other people make it hard at times? Sure. Does your husband bring home gallons of ice cream when he knows you are trying to get fit? Yet, at the end of the day, you must have the mindset that you have the final say in your actions. Most noteworthy, if you believe you don’t have choice, then you are not empowered to stay to the course. Taking responsibility for ALL your actions gives you limitless power to create a new destiny.
Your best bet is to identify a small change and get into action. Another tip is to set up a system to connect with your goals and intentions on a daily basis. For example, walk through your visualization before you get out of bed. If you don’t have 5 minutes a day for this important routine, then your goals aren’t that important. Yes, I am challenging you here, but I’m guessing you have a slimmed down version of what you really want. Stop that!
Remember, no shrinking.
Embrace your inner Scarlet O’Hara. Jen Sincero calls it your badass. I call it your mojo. Find it and get it laser focused on what you want most. To recap:
- Connect with that place that fuels you. Refill your tank so you can get back on track and start hitting the goals that will feed your soul.
- Draw on your visualization of your to-die-for-goal. Pump you fist in the air, literally. Capture it on paper and keep it front and center. Now get moving!
- Ooh – a third step? Send me a note when you commit to something big, really big, and start taking action. It’s intoxicating and I would love to share the journey with you!
Given my little crush that I have on Jen Sincero, let me leave you with one of her quotes: “If your serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” Scarlet was dead serious and I hope you will be too!