Life Lessons I Learned From 80’s Movies


I decided to take a quick detour from the usual health, nutrition and fitness stuff to write this up, simply because I thought it would be fun after being inspired by this article. It didn’t take me too long to realize how much my thoughts on health and wellness is tied to the attitudes, perspectives and philosophies that were so heavily featured in the movies of that radical decade…

Life Lessons I Learned From 80’s Movies

As my wife, family and friends can attest, I’m never more than a few words away from an 80’s movie quote. In fact, I’m sure I could live out a pretty solid and productive existence relying solely on them as my primary language. Growing up in the 1980s meant I developed my wonder of the world and all it’s possibilities framed by the movies and shows of that decade. That means, I literally thought it was possible to have an adventure like those crazy Goonies from Astoria, Oregon and it was also entirely possible that a fellow like Doc Brown and time travel were awaiting me around any corner. Sure a few things were a bit far fetched but aside from Howard The Duck, nearly everything from that time period showed me what was possible and dramatically shaped how I look at this great big world of ours. To that point, I am even working on a post that compares health and The Neverending Story. If that doesn’t tell you that my reality was forged via the 80’s, I don’t know what does.

So what did the totally epic and awesome decade of movies from the 80s teach me about life? Just about everything it would seem, although I tried to narrow it down to about 10…

1. The World Meets Nobody Halfway – Over The Top

Full of inspiration, life lessons, memorable quotes and crazy dudes arm wrestling, this movie taught me many things but none more than the concept of meeting your destiny. The world meets nobody halfway, if you want it, you gotta take it. Kenny Loggins listened and gave us Meet Me Halfway, and the world thanks him for it. Life Lesson: If you want something, you gotta go get it.

2. When Your Gut Talks To You, You Listen – Rad

Sometimes, your gut just knows what’s right. We’ve all had more than a few times we have mistakenly not listened to our gut feeling and wished we had. If Cru hadn’t listened to his gut then he would have never made it to Hell Track, Bart Connor would have won, further perpetuating corporate greed and dominance, Lori Laughlin would have fallen in deeper into the corrupt and pompous BMX crowd, that little town would have lost a hero and the world wouldn’t have gotten the chance the see a bicycle boogie to the song Send Me An Angel. Life Lesson: When your gut talks to you, listen.

3. Just Be Yourself – Can’t Buy Me Love

Life seems to be constantly driving us into groups or labels and we keep trying to define ourselves by other people’s standards. Everyone tries so hard to fit in these days- whether it’s the clothes you wear, the diet you follow, the shows you watch or the fitness trend you sweat to. We spend too much time imitating other people and not enough originating our own way. Summed up in one line by Donald Miller, “Cools, nerds, my side, your side… It’s just tough enough to be yourself.” Life Lesson: Be yourself. And, it’s ok, no, cool, to break out the African Anteater Ritual at a school dance.

4. You Can Change The World – The Neverending Story

We are all part of The Neverending Story, connected through imagination, the lifeblood of our world that nourishes it and keeps us enriched and free. The more we create our structured and artificial world, the more the Nothing destroys it. It’s up to us, and you, to keep it going. No matter how small and insignificant we might feel we can be the one to save the world. Life Lesson: You can change the world.
*Bonus* – Good Luck Will Find You

It will be a journey. Those who keep going will be rewarded. Never give up and good luck will find you.

5. Forget All You Know, Or Think You Know – Willow

In a world obsessed with knowing everything, too often we think we know it all. Sometimes there’s nothing more freeing than forgetting everything you think you know. It’s also the only way to access the magic that will change the world. It’s not happenstance the High Aldwin was looking for an apprentice who knew the finger that held the power was on his own hand. Life Lesson: Never think you know it all, open your mind to all possibilities. The power to change is in you.

6. Go One More Round – Rocky IV

“By going the one more round, when you don’t think you can… that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”
No matter the opponent or challenge, even if it’s a giant Russian, you can overcome anything. Even if you’re scared, beat up, tired and doubting yourself, lift your head up and get back in the ring. Life Lesson: Go one more round, you can do it.
*Bonus* – If I Can Change, And You Can Change, Everybody Can Change
Yes, even crazy Russians can change to start cheering for Rocky. That means anything is possible.

7. The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow – Annie

This is one of my favorite concepts. Health, like life, will be better tomorrow if you simply think it will be. Even when the day is gray and lonely, stick out your chin and grin, and say ‘The sun will come out tomorrow. You can bet your bottom dollar.’ Life Lesson: Tomorrow will be better than today.

8. If You Put Your Mind To It, You Can Accomplish Anything – Back To The Future

Straightforward but precious advice. Maybe not time travel for most of us but anything we can imagine falls into this category. The first thing that pops into my head now is health. If you want to get healthier, put your mind to it and you can get there, no matter how far you might have to go. And if you don’t, at least we have hoverboards, flying cars and Nikes with Power Laces to look forward to next year. Life Lesson: You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

9. Everything Has A Purpose, Even If You Don’t Realize It – The Karate Kid

So often we don’t realize that everything we are doing is helping form our future. There is beauty and function in everything we choose to do, even if we can’t see it while we are doing it. We are a product of what we do, so be prepared to appreciate everything you do and realize it has purpose in your life. That annoying home project just might prepare you for the next time you get jumped by a collection of hooligans dressed as skeletons. Life Lesson: Everything in your life has purpose.

10. It’s Your Time – The Goonies

Other people all around you are doing what’s best for them and most of our lives we sit back and let them. It’s fine to support others most of the time but every once in a while it’s your time, and you need to do what’s best for you, because it’s your time, your time. Maybe it’s not chasing pirate treasure, maybe it’s chasing health or personal time, but when it’s your time, don’t ride up Troy’s bucket. Life Lesson: When it’s your time, go for it.

Last but not least and no need for being numbered:

True Love Is The Greatest Thing In The World – The Princess Bride

As my favorite movie of all time, I thought about doing an entire writeup on things I learned from the Princess Bride but I thought it would be better as a finale to this post. Love exists, not just in fairy tales, and is the glue that holds us together. When love is true, there’s nothing better, except maybe a nice M.L.T. when the mutton is nice and lean, they’re so perky. True love knows no boundaries and has no limits. Death cannot even stop true love, all it can do is delay it for a while. When we believe in love, everything fits into place and the world is right. We can make it through anything, we can go one more round, we will believe in ourselves, we see purpose in everything we do and we will always know that the sun will come out tomorrow. Life Lesson: Believe in true love.

Well there you have it. A few of the many life lessons I learned from 80s movies. Although just a sampling of the awesomeness of that decades movies and teachable moments, I hope they served as inspiration to a few of you out there today.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

As you wish.

P.S. Here’s the link to the full Rad movie, which is very hard to find.



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