Sometimes You Just Have to Watch Good Will Hunting

I was watching TV with my mom one night, and she was forced to change the channel because an R-rated movie was about to start. Before she left that channel, she told me how good that movie was and that when I was old enough, I should watch it.

Several years later, I was in my first semester of college and feeling miserable. While looking for something to do one night, I stumbled across that movie on Netflix, and that for the first time of my life, I watched the movie Good Will Hunting. Of all the movies I could have watched that night, that was the perfect one. There are some fantastic scenes in it that can provide guidance through life’s trials.

Good Will Hunting tells the tale of Will Hunting, a troubled young genius. Will gets caught working on an extremely difficult math proof at his job as a janitor at MIT. He escapes the professor who catches him, but later, after getting arrested following a fight, this professor makes an arrangement with the judge wherein Will avoids jail time if he works on math with the professor and attends counseling twice a week.


This scene teaches us that there comes a time in the midst of an inner-storm when we have to admit that what is happening is not normal, that something is wrong and needs to change. This change will not occur until we have the courage to take steps to correct what is wrong, to control what we can control, and let go of what we cannot control. No one else can make that decision for us. We have to make that move.

This scene is helpful if you are attempting to talk yourself into doing something bold. Sometimes, the only way we can know if a decision is a mistake is to make the decision, to open the box and see if Schrodinger’s cat is still alive.

The message of this scene is simple: Do not live life with regrets.

The key point of this scene is that sometimes tough love is necessary. There is a time to be gentle with yourself and others, but at times, you need to get nasty. You need to be brutally honest, to inspire the right action.

My grandmother once said, “When it’s bad enough, you can say ‘Shit.’” This what this scene is about, shit. We all have shit, bad stuff that has happened to us that we cannot control. I mean really bad stuff, not the disappointment of an F on an English paper, but real pain caused by a dramatic and traumatic event. However, our shit does not defines us. It will, though, if we let it. The shit happened not because we deserved it, but simply because shit happens. There is nothing we can do about it. We need to overcome our shit, if we want to be successful and happy in life. When our shit holds us back, we need to remind ourselves what Sean tells Will. It is not our fault.

The overall message of this movie is courage. Only by having the courage to take a risk, overcoming our shit, and doing something bold can we take control of our lives. Life is scary, but we cannot let that stop us.

Alex HeyComment