Monday 5 Things ….. 37 years of Bueller? Bueller?…..

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Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Photographer Down”, Savannah Studio, 2021

Monday 5 Things ….. 37 years of Bueller? Bueller?…..

Click on the image and you’ll get a sense of how busy your scribe has been over the past few weeks. However, I assure you that no photographers were harmed during the making of this week’s M5T.

While driving around the low country to scope out some locations for upcoming photography shoots, I listened to a commentary about “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, which was released 37 years ago, on June 11th, 1986, Yeah, 1986. The decade of decadence, big hair, the fall of communism, Yuppies, IBM, Microsoft and MTV. A most wonderful trip down memory lane for me.

Sunday night is here and pressed for time as I prep for the upcoming week, I am thankful to be able to dive into the M5T archives and pull out a missive from 3 years ago that I wrote about wisdom garnered from Ferris.

There are a number of movies that I will re-e-re-re-re-re-watch. A few of those movies are Wall Street, Joe vs. the Volcano, Le Mans, Ben Hur, Citizen Kane, Bullitt, Top Gun, Rush, and newly added to the list, Ford vs Ferrari. I have been percolating a series of M5T’s of lessons learned from those movies and most recently re-watched John Hughes’ 1986 homage to living in the moment, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. To be clear, your scribe does not condone truancy, feigned illness, lying to one’s parents and teachers or blatantly breaking laws, I shall neither confirm nor deny of having engaged in any such activities way back in my heathen youth. However, Ferris’s message of living in the moment is one that I try to take to heart to this day. Assuming that you now most likely have Ben Stein’s dry voice in your head as he calls out class attendance, this morning’s M5T starts this week being fully present from lessons learned from Ferris’isms.

1. Ferris’ism one: Invest.

“The question isn’t what are we going to do? The question is what aren’t we going to do?” On any given day, commit yourself to investing time being spent on the greatest opportunity, not the biggest problem. Ferris was committed to the day. He planned it and then allowed the day to unfold with adventures as they presented themselves. He genuinely cared that his closest friends Cameron Frye and Sloan Peterson had a fun day, no matter their hesitancy to do so.

2. Ferris’ism two:Choose to live life now.

“You’re not dying. You just can’t think of anything good to do.” Live your own life, not the life others expect of you. A balanced life includes learning from the past and looking to the future but there is power in developing an appreciation and awareness of being open and willing to be in fully engaged in the present. Initiate change. Think big. Then think bigger. Then go do it.

3. Ferris’ism three: Savor the moments.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Use your day off fully. Change your perspective. Go to the top of a tall building. Then lean over and look down. Go to a French restaurant without a reservation. Go to a ball game in the middle of the afternoon. Meander through a museum. Celebrate. Join a parade.  Dance if you want to. Lip sync “Danke Schön” to your friends just because you love them. Twist and shout with abandon. Realize how much fun you could be having if you just allowed yourself to do so. Let your joy be contagious.

4. Ferris’ism four: Make opportunities happen.

“If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Don’t let conditions dictate what you really want to do. Change conditions so they suit you. If the opportunity presents itself to drive a Ferrari, especially a 1961 250 GT California. Take it. Everyone looks cool driving a Ferrari. Sunglasses, cool hats and white leather jackets worn in a Ferrari look even cooler. However, remember to never, ever, leave the Ferrari keys with parking attendants.

5. Ferris’ism five: Get out of your comfort zone.

“You’re still here?” Remove the limitations of being comfortable. Believe in yourself. Consciously try to positively impact others. Face your fears; don’t let your anxieties turn you into a hypochondriac like Cameron. Only you can hold yourself back. Even Cameron took a stand to change how he was living his life at the end of the movie, with the metaphorical destruction of his father’s car. I always thought that question at the end of the movie with Ferris looking into the camera was funny, yet profound to the message conveyed of living in the moment.

Here’s to a week of the Ferris Bueller that can be found somewhere in all of us and to a week of being present and in the moment.

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T. You can reach Paul by email at