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Rule #1: There are no rules.

Hard Truths

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Last week I mentioned to a friend of mine that I hadn’t made as much progress as I’d hoped on one of my current projects. He consoled me, saying the standard lines about how it happens to the best of us and that I’ll get where I want to be soon, but instead of feeling better, I found myself suprisingly angry. It struck me that what I wanted was not approval but disapproval. I wanted him to motivate me by reminding me that I’m better than this. And it had me wondering when we all decided that the only acceptable form of motivation is mild encouragement.

The problem with modern society is that no one ever tells you you’re fucking up. As a child you get this kind of feedback. But once you become an adult, others respect your right to make mistakes so much that they scarcely even point them out. Maybe we’re all intentionally staying blind and taking the easy path together. I’m not sure. But looking back on my past I can clearly see where I could have avoided a lot of heartbreak, financial loss, and wasted time had my friends pointed out my mistakes. I wouldn’t have always agreed, sure, but a worthwhile friendship can survive the challenge. And the feedback I need at this point in my life is not just a vapid pat on the back. Sometimes the greatest gift is a kick in the ass.

Take this as my permission to tell me when I’m screwing up. My goals are greater than just making it to the grave without criticism and life is too short to waste on the wrong paths. I’ll need your help. It is an obligation of true friendship that you put aside your discomforts and tell me the hard truths I need to know. I promise I’ll thank you for it.


CHUCKIE

So, when are you done with those meetin’s?

WILL

Week after I’m twenty-one.

CHUCKIE

Are they hookin’ you up with a job?

WILL

Yeah, sit in a room and do long division for the next fifty years.

CHUCKIE

Yah, but it’s better than this shit. At least you’d make some nice bank.

WILL

Yeah, be a fuckin’ lab rat.

CHUCKIE

It’s a way outta here.

WILL

What do I want a way outta here for? I want to live here the rest of my life. I want to be your next door neighbor. I want to take out kids to little league together up Foley Field.

CHUCKIE

Look, you’re my best friend, so don’t take this the wrong way, but in 20 years, if you’re livin’ next door to me, comin’ over watchin’ the fuckin’ Patriots’ games and still workin’ construction, I’ll fuckin’ kill you. And that’s not a threat, that’s a fact. I’ll fuckin’ kill you.

WILL

Chuckie, what are you talkin’…

CHUCKIE

Listen, you got somethin’ that none of us have.

WILL

Why is it always this? I owe it to myself? What if I don’t want to?

CHUCKIE

Fuck you. You owe it to me. Tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be fifty and I’ll still be doin’ this. And that’s all right ‘cause I’m gonna make a run at it. But you, you’re sittin’ on a winning lottery ticket and you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in. And that’s bullshit ‘cause I’d do anything to have what you got! And so would any of these guys. It’d be a fuckin’ insult to us if you’re still here in twenty years.

WILL

You don’t know that.

CHUCKIE

Let me tell you what I do know. Every day I come by to pick you up, and we go out drinkin’ or whatever and we have a few laughs. But you know what the best part of my day is? The ten seconds before I knock on the door ‘cause I let myself think I might get there, and you’d be gone. I’d knock on the door and you wouldn’t be there. You just left.

(pause)

Now, I don’t know much. But I know that.

Good Will Hunting

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