What I Learned From A Classic Movie...

What I Learned From A Classic Movie...
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

During our recent trip to Minnesota, we watched the classic movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. In the movie, Ferris mentions the following dialogue a couple of times: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” We literally had to pause the movie and have a reflection session because I am that person and I somehow find my kind of people often! We unpacked the profound truth encapsulated in those two simple statements, and I had to share it with you all through this blog post!

One of the things we discussed that evening, related to the dialogue, was how fast-paced our life is. We are in the constant race of life, always in a get-go motion. As the saying goes, “Time and tide wait for no man"- each moment is fleeting, and we barely pause. When we do not pause/stop between those fleeting moments, we find ourselves caught in an unending cycle of distractions, responsibilities, and routines. Let me clarify, I have nothing against routine and structures in life, in fact, I love them so much. But even in our daily routine life, if we do not remain attuned to our surroundings, we may miss many experiences that unfold around us.

The other aspect of our discussion focused on numerous things that have become ingrained in our muscle memory (e.g. brushing teeth, making a cup of coffee every morning, driving to work, etc.) activating our autopilot mode. If you are willing, I recommend considering being fully present and consciously aware during your daily routine because there are so many facets of life that we never notice in autopilot mode. On the days when I am more aware and present, I notice new things during my commute to the office- a route that I’ve been taking for a few years now. I’ve observed unnoticed details along my habitual hiking trails on the days I am aware, and my interactions with people take on a different depth when I truly listen. Honestly, there are more days I am distracted than I am truly present, but I have noticed these differences. Mindfulness can heighten our sensitivity to our surroundings, even in the midst of the ordinary. By stepping out of autopilot mode, we open ourselves to a world of “unnoticed wonders”. I am striving to be more proactive about it and I would recommend the same to you too.

Now that we have acknowledged the necessity of stepping out of autopilot mode, the next step would be to actually step out of this mode. I personally love reflecting on my thoughts and life in general. It is crucial that we incorporate those brief pauses and breaks for reflection as we navigate through life’s journey. One could argue that the demands of responsibilities in life and work commitments keep us busy. However, it is precisely during those times it becomes important to be more intentional about creating moments of awareness and stillness in life because life does move fast. I am not trying to scare anyone- but consider this: one moment you could be 20, and if you merely go along with the flow of life, you will be 40 in no time. And no one wants to look back in life and wonder where those 20 years went in between. Also, I saw the following meme somewhere on social media and found it worth sharing as a humor break. LOL...

Someone said, “20 years ago” and my mind went “Ah Yes! The 1980’s”, but they meant 2003 and now I need to lie down.”

I have heard older people express regrets such as “I wish I had spent more time with my children and family when I was younger,”, or “I should have taken more days off to spend time with my loved ones,”, or “I wish I had appreciated my alone time more when I was single,” or “I wish I had spent quality time with my parents when they were still here.” We do not want our lives to be a series of regrets as we grow older. I am sure all of us aspire to have wonderful memories when we reflect on life. These moments we are experiencing right now will become cherished memories of the future.  So, let’s be intentional about the kind of memories we are creating for our future selves.

If you are still sitting in the thoughts of going on that vacation that you have always wished for, go for it. Spend quality time with your friends and family, look at people’s eyes when they are talking to you, make time for morning/evening walks, spend more time in nature, allow yourself to have “me time”, let go of screen time for at least few minutes a day, and really notice what’s going on around you. Most of us spend our lives dwelling in the past or weaving our future, but if we could embrace the stillness and awareness of the present, it becomes easier to appreciate the beauty of now. (Also, this is a pep talk from me to me)

Always remember- life is a series of big and small moments that collectively shape our experiences and memories. If we rush through life, we risk missing out on these experiences and memories.

To summarize this simple dialogue reiterates the importance of slowing down, being present, and wholeheartedly embracing each present moment. As we have always heard, life is a journey, so this movie encouraged me further to savor the journey, find joy in the small things, and continue practicing gratitude in my life. 😊

Thanks to our friend who recommended the movie and engaged in conversations with us. Not only did we create some core memories in Minnesota, but I also returned with some additional wisdom!