LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MAN IN BLACK
Okay, so I'm a little late to Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic. I meant to see it months ago, since most of the principal photography was done here in Memphis, and since it's just generally been raved about as being a good movie. Finally, I caught it at the two dollar movie house near here.
All I can say is "wow."
It's a sobering look at one man's rise to stardom followed by a spectacular fall. J.R. Cash was a man with dreams...dreams that aren't really so much different from my own. To see that all taken away in a heartbeat because of a devil in a bottle is heart-wrenching. Seeing him waste all those years of his life alienating everyone he cared about was painful to me, because my own life contains similar stretches.
It makes me wonder. How often do we lose sight of our goals? How often is the present so big that it clouds the future? What things should I be paying attention to so that I can achieve everything that I want in life? Do I, like Johnny, often miss the big picture because of the show going on now? Am I a slave to something and don't even know it?
One thing was sure about Johnny Cash: he never let anybody tell him what he wasn't going to be able to do. From his father telling him that a music career was nothing to record execs saying that a Folsom Prison concert would never sell albums, Johnny walked that line, often tumbling over backwards, but more often pursing his dreams. Those backward tumbles were many, and they were significant. But yet, he still found the wherewithal in himself to pull back into life and ultimately find success and sobriety. He never took no for an answer, even when that "no" kept him strung out on pain medication and alcohol.
All of us have goals out there. Maybe it's to be a good writer, a famous musician, a good parent, an outstanding marketer, a Congressman, a doctor, or whatever... The questions we have to ask ourselves are what are we doing to get there, and what in our lives do we need to change to have it all?
This started out being about Johnny Cash, one of the best musicians ever, but it's ended up being about us. And my challenge to you, as well as to myself, is to find that passion about your dreams again. Don't take no for an answer. Work it out. There's no reason we can't be extraordinary. Take chances, live life, and just get out there and do it.
Walk the line. Live each day as though you believe it to be your last. One day you will be right.