The quintessential 80’s movie with extra macho-cheese, this epically well casted thrill ride was riddled with life lessons that are still applicable today. The elite Naval Fighter Weapons School has upgraded technology and fighters, but the attitudes and characteristics of the men who attend have not changed. This will always be a top 5 movie all-time for me, the incredible aerial cinematography, memorable lines I still imitate, and the truly deep messages you can take from this film if you go below the hard deck. Here are a few of them.
“Have A Good Time. Always”
No matter what was said to you that day, or whatever stupid crap you encountered, when you’re out with your friends, forget all that shit. Check it at the door, enjoy your buds and sing the immortal Righteous Brother’s classic “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” whenever possible, chances are the whole bar will back you up on the chorus. Trust me.
“We” All Need A Goose”
It could be your best friend, mom or significant other but never forget to include someone, especially if they were there at the time, and right next to you presently. But if you ever do, here is an elite move you can extend and escape with instead of publicly crashing and burning. My good friend performed this maneuver while telling a story at a birthday party, and when corrected by his wife for excluding her presence in that story, seamlessly apologized “Sorry Goose…”We”…” and continued without missing a beat. And that’s how it’s done folks. (for Blake+Nicky)
“Taste the Sunsets”
Staying healthy and active is a lot more fun when it’s outside and competitive. Obviously if the game is beach volleyball it is mandatory to flex, howl and execute an incredibly well choreographed high-five after winning a point but this behavior is applicable to most team sports. Add a killer soundtrack into the back-round and the sunsets never end. Also kicking a coworker’s ass on the field is incredibly satisfying…especially when it’s your superiors.
“Feel the Need”
Sometimes you gotta let it rip. Could be driving too fast, bombing a hill on a skateboard or as simple as riding the handrail down the stairs but it’s important to feel that adrenaline every so often. James Hunt (Formula 1 World Champion) once said “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.”. I take that prescription as needed, and highly recommend it.
“Apply What You Learn”
The conversation between Viper and Maverick is probably the most valuable lesson of all. “A good pilot is compelled to always evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he’s learned.” It does not matter what your profession or problem, this is always sound advice to live by.
“Buzz the Tower”
Don’t forget to celebrate wins. Especially if they are big ones. Sometimes we forget how hard we worked to get that to that moment, and even if it may not be the best idea to break every FAA law ever created, the metaphor is still valid. When you kick ass and achieve something, always stop and wear the champagne goggles.
“Don’t Quit. Ever”
If you really love to do something, you are prepared to fail over and over to get to the top and master whatever your craft may be, no matter what the circumstance is. “The best of the best make mistakes, and they move on from them” That’s real learning and growth.
“You Have to Let Go”
Losing someone we love is the worst experience that we all go through as human beings. I felt anger, sadness and remorse when I thought of my brother, but I know letting that go doesn’t mean forgetting him at all. He would want me to live my life and be happy, with the comfort of knowing I’ll see him again someday. We all need to throw the metaphorical dog-tags into the ocean at some point to move on.
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