One of my greatest releases from the daily grind is to sit back and watch movies with my sons Brady and Caleb. I get excited every weekend when it’s too cold out or too rainy out because I know its movie day. One of Brady’s favorite movies is Ratatouille, the story of a mouse who has acquired a special talent that makes him an effective chef in the kitchen just like his idol, famed chef Gusteau. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Remy, the mouse is talking with his father Django. Remy and Django are arguing over life and death matters and meshing between rodent and human. In front of a mouse trap store Django says to Remy. “Take a good long look, Remy. This is what happens when a rat gets a little too uncomfortable around humans. The world we live in belongs to the enemy, we must live carefully. We look out for our own kind, Remy. When all is said and done, we’re all we’ve got. Remy replies, “No.” “What?” Says Django. Remy mutters, “No. Dad I don’t believe it. You’re telling me that the future is – can only be more of this (this being mice killed in traps)?” Django replies, “This is the way things are. You can’t change nature.” Remy wittingly says, “Change is nature, Dad. The part we can influence. And it starts when we decide.” As Remy walks away Django says, “Where are you going?” With a sparkle in his eye Remy turns and says, “With luck, forward.” There is such a positive message in this conversation that maybe my sons don’t see, but I do and I hope they do one day. Change is nature, but it only happens when we decide. When we get off our asses and say I’m going to be better, I’m going to rebuild this, I’m going to write this and it’s going to be successful. The motivation in that piece is so powerful, as buffered as it is in a Disney movie it’s still present. I’ve been beaten down my whole life, told you can’t do that, no it will never work, you can’t do that. You know what that does to me? Motivates me, I love showing thet world that I don’t live to the standard, I make the standard. That’s who I am and I hope my boys live this way too.
The last part of this piece where Remy says “With luck, forward” is a tremendous message for everyone. I can’t stand being around negative backwards thinkers. It drives me up the damn wall. Think positive, generate ideas, and above all move forward. The waters get murky from time to time, but if business was easy everyone would do it. It’s hard at times, but creative thinking goes along way. I encourage my people to bring up their thoughts; it is the only way we learn as an industry. Owners don’t always have the best ideas. Typically it’s the guys who do the day to day stuff every day. Its pure ignorance of the owners to deny these people their God given right of change. Listen, learn, and for Christ sake change. Get out of the wheels and sprockets of history. History is important, but it’s also a school subject. Change isn’t. We make change by what we do every day. So do it and stay motivated.
So it’s been a blog of ranting and raving, but it’s time to change folks. We live in a constantly changing world; let’s apply this to the way we think. Live, learn, and listen. Sometimes a little listening goes a long way both to the person listening and to the person speaking.