My Favourite Movie: Fight Club

A few days ago I had to think about the movie Fight Club.  I had a very lively discussion about life, purpose, job and that stuff. It somehow made me think about the movie Fight Club. I had one particular quote in mind that already made me rethink my life two years ago.

So I decided to watch it again. The last time I watched it was probably three years ago or something like that. I just finished watching it. And there were so many great lessons about life in it that it almost blew my mind.  There are some very obvious things the movie wants to teach us and some not so obvious things.

I don't want to focus on the obvious ones, such as the crazy things people are willing to do when they are depressed, upset, lonely, in trouble, hopeless, unhappy and they are being exposed to group dynamics and powerful leaders.

What I want to focus on are the more subtle lessons.  This movie tells us a lot about life, society and the way things are going these days...

#1 POTENTIAL

When Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt) walks around in the filthy basement where they started the Fight Club and welcomes the new members he holds a very impressive speech. A speech about how we're all wasting our potential. How we're waiting for that one thing to magically happen.

How we're pretty much waiting our lives away.   I remembered I saw most people "die" when they are 26 and buried at 75.

“This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time”

How we're some of the strongest and smartest species on this planet earth but we're squandering our lives doing shitty jobs, waiting tables, being white collar slaves and buying stuff we don't need.

 #2 PERSISTENCE

In one scene Tyler walks into a grocery store, grabs the cashier, puts a gun in front of the guy's head and asks him why he works such a shitty job. The guy tells him that college was too hard, too many hours. Too exhausting. So he quit and took the easiest bet.

Then Tyler asked him what he wanted to be in life when he was younger and the guy said he wanted to be a veterinarian. Tyler took his ID, told him he'd come back in six weeks and if he's not on his way of getting a veterinarian he'd be dead....

#3 CONTROL

We're constantly trying to control everything. Everything needs to be under control. If we have everything under control we'll have a safe life. A stable life. A predictable life. A happy life.

So we try to constantly control our own lives, other people's lives, our emotions, the economy, the stock market and so on.

And then all of a sudden something unexpected happens.

We lose our jobs, gf/bf, our house or what not. And then we get depressed and upset about it. We pictured having such a nice and comfortable life. Only to figure out that all of this was just a dream. That we can't control anything. Expectations.

We just can't predict the future. We suck at it. So instead of trying to control things, live in past and/ or future memories we should let go.

#4 POSSESSIONS

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” 

#5 MEANING

When Tyler talks about his dad he tells Edward Norton that his dad pretty much told him what he had to do. He had to go to college because his dad never went to college.

Then he asked his dad what he should do after he graduated. His dad told him to get married.  That's when Tyler realized that he was living a life that didn't mean anything to him. He was living someone else's life. And that's when he decided to quit his current life.

Until the age of 35 I did pretty much everything people expected me to do. I went to school and graduated. Then I went to university and graduated. And then I went for a job. But then all of a sudden I realized that the stuff I was doing didn't really mean anything to me.

Why the only fights we fight these days are our own inner fights. Fights about our own spirituality...

#6 LIFE

“You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

My Favourite Movie: Fight Club
James Wong
29 December, 2020
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