Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Image result for ferris twist and shout

Moss Jackson, PhD
Psychologist and Success Coach

Ferris’ wisdom:

“You’re not dying, you just have nothing to do!”
“C’mon, live a little!”

It was the 2016 World Series and an epic battle was raging between the Cubs and the Indians, both of whom had not been World Champions for over 176 years. But “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was also on at the same time, so I was flipping back and forth at a .400 level.

I think when I really grow up I want to be like Ferris Bueller! Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has always been one of my favorite movies. Ferris, along with Lost Horizons, all the Bourne stories, Indiana Jones and the original Flash Gordon series have all helped to shape my life orientation. Although I loved my parents, I always secretly harbored the thought I was really adopted. My Jewish education had little impact on me, although falling in love with a Baptist girl at age 16 had a strong influence, as did running track and being elected Captain of the team as a Senior in high school. Almost flunking out of Rutgers as a sophomore and reveling in the death of my asshole Aunt Shirley have all further contributed to the person I have become, a person of immense curiosity, limited intelligence, questionable judgement and a high sense of the bizarre, the humorous and the absurd.

What I like about Ferris is his outrageous perspective on life. He is always looking for his edge, while appreciating the threat of chronic authority looming over his head, fear of the future and sometimes going too far in response to any potentially shaming experience. I think about him and the movie when I get caught up in taking life too seriously. Even in the face of his arch enemy, Ed Rooney, the antagonistic high school principle who is dedicated to bringing on Ferris’ demise and ultimate humiliation, Ferris stays absolutely dedicated to his mission of pleasure, social connection, risk-taking and laughing in the face of rules and authority. He just appreciates the absurdity of the Game of Life. There is no perfection, no one really knows what to do anyway and, bottom line, the whole thing is made up.

Our brains are wired for fear in order to help us deal with external threats and ensure our survival. We experience about 2,500 thoughts a day, 2,000 of which are negative. Given that percentage, all of us should probably stay in bed the whole day, hiding under our covers. Perhaps though, it may be in our best interest to take Ferris’ lead and stare into the face of the whole catastrophe of life. Be silly, take a chance, like Ferris singing in a city wide parade, “Shake it all out,” laugh in the face of criticism, doubt and humiliation.

Capture that special moment where you say, “what the hell, I’m going for it!” It does not matter what the “it” is, just enjoy a moment of highly creative and not very rational action. It’s spitting into the face of the bully, going against convention and taking a risk. But you have to be willing to be wrong, willing to make a mistake and willing to risk failure. And, at the same time, taking in all that life has to offer while keeping yourself intact. It’s giving up on “being right” or fitting in! There is no right way and no one else really cares if you fit in, just that they appear to fit in and no one calls them on their shit!

As his best friend, timid Cameron, says toward the end of the movie, “I’ve had it, I’m done with being afraid,” all of us, one time or another, have a chance to not let fear control us but, instead, to step out and take our shot. Maybe, it is leaving a safe job to do what is in your heart, or taking an acting class or telling someone you like her. Whatever it is, stop waiting and stop playing it safe. There is no safety and there is no one to take care of you. It’s all a crap shoot and the prize is up for you to discover. My guess is that anyone close to their own death probably does not take joy in having lived a life too safe!

Life navigation has to do with going with your passion. And letting go of hope that someone else has the answers.  No one really knows the right path. It is all made up.  And each of us gets to choose our personal path. The rules are the life game are simple:

Give it a shot!
Take what you get and don’t complain!
Everyone wins!
Make no excuses!
There is no right way!
Laugh a little every day!
Live your life!
Love your life!
There is nothing to regret!
You are your own worst enemy!
Care about yourself!
Be compassionate!
Don’t wait to do it right!
Act foolishly!
Be thankful!
Kick on fourth down!
Give it another shot!
Life is great!
Go home!

We all deserve to live extraordinary lives of success, accomplishment and satisfaction!
You can literally redesign your brain and alter the course of your life. Stop surviving and start thriving in your life. Be a Life Navigator and live a long time and love a lot!
You have a lot to do in life, so open your eyes, perk up your ears and stop waiting to die.

Death is a waste of time. It is the ultimate “I have nothing to do!”

Read “I Didn’t Come To Say Good bye: Navigating the Psychology of Immortality.”
Get it on Amazon.
Or check out my personal coaching program on navigatingforsuccess.com