An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don’t need… We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

 

If you have not yet read Chuck Palahniuk’s book, Fight Club: A Novel or watched the Fight Club movie, then you’ve got to do it. Right now. This movie can immediately change your life perspective. I own the DVD and it is one of the rare movies that I can watch over and over, gaining something new & insightful after each viewing. The quote above encompasses all that I love about the movie. Let’s break it down.

An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars.

Have you heard about Lifestyle Design yet? In short, Lifestyle Design is creating the life that you want to lead. It means forgetting about what you “should” do — because your mother, father, preacher, teacher, president, whoever — told you so. It means doing what you love, what you are passionate about, what makes you happy.

True Life Style-designers refer to people that work 9 – 5 office jobs (like me) as cubicle monkeys. They question authority. They do not ever want to be told what to do or where to be. True Life Style-designers know that true happiness means being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, where ever you want. Fight Club is also about Lifestyle Design. If you’re interested in learning more about Lifestyle Design you should check out these sites: Wage Slave Rebel and How to be Rich & Happy.

stairs, subway, decision

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.

Another concept from the movie (another concept that I love) is Minimalism. Minimalism is the idea that more is really less. That we don’t need a lot of “stuff” to lead a meaningful existence and, in fact, the more stuff that we have the more meaningless our life actually becomes. I love the idea of minimalism — cutting the fat — and it is a huge aspect of Fight Club. At one point the lead character, Tyler Durden, says, “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fuc*ing khakis.” And it is so incredibly true.

Too many people define themselves by their possessions. It is an injustice to your soul to define yourself by a material object. Over the past year, I’ve grown to generally dislike excessive material possessions. Yes, I love to surround myself with beautiful things; however I think that our primary acquisitions should exist imprinted on our hearts & souls alone. These things can not be held in the hands. Therefore, I have begun the process of purging my possessions down to a minimum — selling clothing & jewelry, donating what’s left over, and throwing out the trash.

Recently I was watching a new movie, Going Up. The lead character is giving a motivational speech and I’d like to paraphrase it.

“Imagine your house is on fire. Imagine you have a backpack and you have to start filling it with your possessions. Where would you start, photographs? Put in all of your photographs. Then put in all of your knick-knacks, jewelry, etc. Next your dishes, your towels. Now go for the bigger stuff, your couch. Yes, shove it all in there, your bed, your dresser, the kitchen stove, the refrigerator. Get everything in there. Now take that whole backpack and throw it in the fire.

Imagine that. Imagine waking up one day and just being free from it all. Wouldn’t that be exhilarating? Who needs photographs. Photographs are for people with bad memories. The important stuff… you’ll remember.”

I don’t know if I got the quote exactly right, but it’s the concept that I want to get across. Minimalism. It is a choice, and you are capable of making that choice. When you are gone from this place called Earth, what do you want to leave behind? A bunch of useless crap? Or a legacy of passion & accomplishment?

We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

I believe this to be true. We were all raised on television and movies to some extent. For me, it was Disney movies. I was raised to believe that all girls are Princesses and that one day Prince Charming would come along and sweep me off my feet and that I would live in a castle (or at least a mansion) and pursue my passions and be taken care of; mostly that I would live happily ever after. And whether you thought that you would be a Princess too or someone else — a singer in Nashville, an actor in Hollywood, a basketball player in the NBA — like me, one day you realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

Nothing was going to be handed to you, there would be no red carpet, and no fairy dust. You realized that you were going to have to create the life that you want with nothing less than your own blood, sweat, and tears.

And that’s what I really like about Fight Club. It’s raw, it’s gritty, and it even feels a bit wrong. But it’s the truth. It makes you look at this life, really look at it, and think about what you want. Not what you think you should want, but what you really want — the things that make your gut scream and your heart sing and your eyes fill up with tears because they are so beautiful. That’s what you should be spending your life chasing. That’s what you should be living for and nothing less.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Find out what makes you come alive and go do that.” —Howard Thurman

14 thoughts on “Fight Club Can Change Your Life”

  1. Bravo Dena…Bravo….

    What is sad is that I didn't even see the movie until one of my best friends randomly started talking about it and he sadi I must watch it. That was in 2006. I really wish I would have caught it when it came out in 1999 (I think?)

    Glad to see someone else pushing this move.

    David Damron

  2. @Dave – Ah! It is one of my all-time-favorites HANDS DOWN. I saw it for the first time years age. At that time I had no idea what lifestyle-design meant or even what it meant to truly pursue passion. But, even still, something about the movie spoke to my soul. I knew that it was "trying to tell me something."

    So many years later and now I know why the movie struck me so hard – it is the truth. Life is too short to piss it away doing shi* that you hate. End of story!

  3. This article is why I love your writing… this movie is beyond awesome in so many ways. Writing, tone, underlying meaning, and well, Brad Pitt's abs.

    I totally agree that you can watch it over and over, and it sparks something inside of you. I think it's about time for me to watch it again! 🙂

  4. I love this movie, too. Exactly for the aspects you’ve summoned up. It’s a great message and I adore the minimalist lifestyle being presented there, too.

    Once I’ve shown the movie to a friend of mine and he didn’t got it. He did not understand what it was, that fascinates me about it.

    I think it’s mostly the first half of the movie which really counts for me. It’s the lessons how to get to point zero (don’t know if its called this way in english?).

    I just feel pure love for the idea being free of all this unnecessary stuff.

    1. Hello Michael!

      Thank you for your comment! It’s been awhile. I hope that all is well. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Fight Club. I adore it, too. It is one of the few movies that I have watched 10+ times and could watch 100 times more. I learn something new about myself & about human nature with each viewing.

      I am really glad that you liked the post and that you are another Fight Club fan! Take care.

      Cheers,
      Dena

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  7. I love the fact that you were able to hone in on the least vulgar and upsetting portions of this story to extract lessons from it. A lot of people “miss the mark” by talking about Brad Pitt’s washboard abs, the various accents, the exclusive and brutal nature of a fight club, and nothing else. <3 I could not take my eyes off of this movie when I was fourteen … it was the first time I had seen it and just had to read the book afterward.

    1. @ Kristin – Thank you, love. I am so grateful that you took the time to read. I just love this movie. Honestly, I’ve seen it so many times but learn something new each time. I could do without the washboard abs honestly, but I think the vulgarity — in its own way — lends itself to the most important concepts. This movie really shows us what happens when we reach rock-fucking-bottom. Without the brutality, I don’t think it would really be so bottom. Before Tyler Durden can know “see” what he needs to see, he has to wallow in the much, grime, pain, blood of reality.

      It’s an extreme statement of minimalism/chaos, but I think that’s part of what makes it so powerful! XO

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