What I want to talk about this Motivational Monday is something that has been on my mind for a while now, rooted in the behavior of a friend of mine who is unfortunately loaded with preconceptions about a lot of the modern media. A few months ago, another friend (for privacy’s sake, let’s call her Daisy) and I struck a deal: She would go and see “Godzilla” with me, a movie I really, really badly wanted to see in 3D, under the condition that I go and see “Divergent” with her. I had read and heard reviews about “Divergent” from news outlets that I completely trusted in their opinions on movies because they had never called a movie good that I detested, and those reviews were unfortunately mostly negative, so I did not particularly feel like watching “Divergent”. But like I said, I really wanted to see “Godzilla” and since this was Daisy’s one condition, I said, “Okay then, let’s do it”.
I had low expectations, and a lot of them were fulfilled. This is not a movie review of “Divergent”, but in a nutshell, it was a mix of recycled ideas from “The Hunger Games” and a dash of “Twilight”, with a few minor plot holes. But you know what? I let myself enjoy it. I know this is not the best movie I’ll ever see, and emotionally it did not quite reach me, but I was entertained. I had fun. The actors were good, the story had a few original ideas that were really good, the images were beautiful and the heroine’s love interest was a seriously hot guy. What can you want more in a movie from which you expected nothing?
Now, here’s what I am trying to say. If I had said no to Daisy’s condition, I would have missed this movie. I would have lost not only two really fun movie nights with a dear old friend of mine, but also the opportunity to be well entertained by something I did not expect to entertain me. I would be missing this experience now, and in retrospect I can say with certainty it’s an experience I would not want to miss, under no circumstances. And that is why I decided to forget preconceptions when it comes to media now. I decided that I would not let myself be led by preconceptions in deciding what movie I would watch next, or what TV show, or what book I was going to read next, because I could be missing out. I watched “Escape Plan” with Stallone and Schwarzenegger, another movie towards which I had next to no expectations, and I had a lot of fun watching it. I watched one of the “Universal Soldier” flicks with Van Damme, and well, it was as bad as I thought, but at least now I know with certainty. What this gave to me was the realization that whatever you think a story might be, it might be the complete opposite, and you’ll never know if you don’t try it yourself. So what if I detest Mel Gibson? I’m still going to watch “The Expendables 3”. So what if Uwe Boll’s movies were 90 percent garbage? His next one might be better. So what if Charlie Sheen is unappealing and a bad actor? “Anger Management” might still be funny, and I sure as hell will give it a try.
The point I am trying to make to you is this: you can not know whether you like something if you have not tried it yourself. This friend of mine who is loaded with preconceptions is missing out on a world of fun because she thinks she knows what’s good based on… well, I really don’t know what she thinks her opinion is based on. As far as I can tell, it’s based on nothing. Don’t do that. Don’t be this person who thinks they know it all when it’s clear they don’t. You will be making a huge mistake. That’s why, for this Motivational Monday, I am daring you to watch a movie that you never wanted to watch, for whatever reason, and go through with it until the bitter end. Diverge from your usual patterns. You might be surprised. In any case, then you’ll know for sure. Because in my book, there are few things more unappealing than not being open to change.
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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost