Break Down

Originally posted at on December 2, 2011

Remember the scene in Jerry Maguire where Jerry hands out his “manifesto” to everyone in his company, urging them to have more integrity and then shortly thereafter, he regrets it?

That scene spoke to me, because he was getting to the bottom of what is wrong with everyday business.

You know what? Everyday business is just that: busy-ness.

Nobody really wants to work for a company that feels hollow. People are motivated by a product or a work environment that aspires to be fun and create great things, or to save the world, or at least make it a better place.

People have huge misconceptions about money and power.

Men think they are sexier if they have these things, but actually women who want these things from a man aren’t really looking for sex per se. Men use these as chits to get women, but ladies, we are looking at the end game of what happens when men and androgynous women think money and power is the be-all of life.
We talk about how materialistic our society has become. When life is all about owning, acquiring, and buying more, increasing in wealth ad infinitum, when it’s about “bottom line” and “growth” and fiscal health, we’re trapped in a game.

I asked the author of the movie “Jerry Maguire,” Cameron Crowe: “What happened to you, that you were able to write those scenes where Jerry has a dark night of the soul?”

And he said that once he realized success with a few movies, his friends were all turning on him, saying that he was pandering to rock stars, putting their music into his movies to curry favor. So he had a breakdown of sorts, not knowing who was his friend anymore.

You can’t get out of this life without suffering disappointments. It will happen to you, too: you’ll be faced with a decision whether you will take the high road or the low road. Life isn’t just about money and power, it’s about defining yourself with your choices.

I can tell the difference between someone who is alive and someone who sold out. It doesn’t take a genius. “Are you proud of yourself?”

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