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Monday, September 28, 2009

7 Lessons Learned from a Chick Flick

Spending the day reading, surfing and watching movies proved to be a little frustrating, and enlightening, with a good deal of laughter.

Most women love their chick-flicks, we get lost in the romance and the drama, they allow for our minds to wander for a few hours. What we don't usually talk about though are the lessons to be learned from those very movies.

While many aren't much better than a weekday Soap, when we look we can find some nuggets to last a lifetime, grow a business, and improve relationships. There are always great shopping Do's and Don't too!! I have gathered my "lesson's learned list" just to prove my point.

7 Lessons Learned from Chic Flicks can even be applied to business relationships.

Don't take yourself too seriously. You will notice there is always the woman who takes herself far too seriously. Like the sister in Jerry McGuire, she was so wounded and hurt that she couldn't allow anyone else to enjoy a moment of bliss. I mean, who wouldn't want to go on a date with Tom Cruise right? It wasn't until the sister had been proven wrong that she could accept "she" might be bitter and that "might" be getting in her way. In business when we take ourselves too seriously, chaos and resentment can manifest in various ways. It is important to have someone around you that keeps you firmly grounded in vision and purpose, as well as someone who will name the pink elephant in the corner of your world.

Crying is actually good for the soul. There are too many movies to reference where tears are a plenty. But the ones that really stick out are the ones that use the tears as a refreshing cleanse. Sleepless in Seattle is a good one for that. Remember when Annie and Becky were sitting on the couch watching An Affair to Remember and they just started crying over the ending of the movie? The same movie they had watched a bazillion times! Then what did they do, they brushed it off, felt better for it and that was that. At times we just need to allow the tears to give us that refreshing cleanse, for clarity and for rejuvenation.

Laughter is always required. Think Steel Magnolia's for a moment. That scene at the cemetery when Charisse made fun of Ouiser and told M'Lynn to 'hit her' just to feel better? It is a perfect example that even in our most painful moments, an infusion of a good laugh can set us right side up. We can get far to down and frustrated in our business with all the changes that are coming at us, it is important to keep people near you that make you laugh. It can set you on the right side.

When it feels like you are pushing a boulder, stop pushing. There are times in life and business when we try to push forward on a project or relationship and it feels like we are pushing a boulder. We press forward to make things happen in our life and yet we can't quite cover enough ground. Just like Frances in Under the Tuscan Sun, she left her life in the states to pursue something else in Italy only to find that her pushing and pressing was pushing back, or following her, depending on your perspective. It wasn't until she stopped pushing that she found what mattered most. In business and life when we push and push to get to what we think we want, sometimes the greatest reward comes in simply stopping, and allowing what will be, to be.

It takes truth, integrity and authenticity to move ahead. Sometimes in business we can start to feel that everyone around us is moving steadily ahead of the curve. That our connections, intentions, strategy and marketing are just always lagging behind the others. But there are always three key ingredients to moving ahead in the world and we learned them from Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. Johnny was authentic with all people, what you see is what you get, he always operated with integrity, even when people were making assumptions and he told the truth, even when it was easy not to. What he ended up with was his self respect fully intact. The one thing no one can take away from you unless you give it to them. Who have you given sanction to in your life and as a result, lost what's important to you?

Running away solves nothing (but always have an exit strategy). Have you ever felt that you just wanted to bolt from a room? When have you been left standing holding the bag only to find out that it was filled with really stinky stuff? Hurts right? In the movie The Wedding Date we watch as Kat runs from a betrayal of her past only to ultimately run head on into the root of the betrayal. Interestingly, in that moment of deepest pain, she finds her strength and personal power. Kat moves from victim, into woman with grace and confidence as she gets clear that all the running was not taking her anywhere. Running wasn't the answer, and it never is. While it is beneficial to have an exit strategy, you never can run very far without running into that which most haunts you. In business if we have a strategy of running when the going gets tough, we are resigning to failure. Face your fears and hurts head on, you will be better for it on the other side.

People always catch a fibber. There really is nothing worse than a tangled web of lies and untruths. I believe people have a root-level desire to trust others. And when people who tell even little white lies breach the trust factor of relationships, it makes it hard to want to do any kind of business or relationship. Unfortunately, just like in the movie Catch and Release we can find ourselves in the midst of someone elses lie, a story for the benefit of someone else. But the truth always come out and can have devastating affects on those we love. While we can talk ourselves into believing that the little untruth is justified, it is key to remember for business and life in general, even little white lies can have a catastrophic outcome. And, the fiber always gets caught in the end. How do you want to be remembered?

The next time you watch a great tear jerker, or sentimental chick flick, consider the lessons you can take away to better yourself, grow your business and share a good laugh with a friend.

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