- “I’m telling you, these walls are funny. First, you hate them. Then you get used to them. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” - Red, From Shawshank Redemption
Spoiler alert… If you haven’t watched Shawshank Redemption skip ahead…
One of the few movies that I HAVE to watch if it’s on while I’m flipping through channels is Shawshank Redemption. I know you’ve seen the movie and it’s one of the most beloved movies of all time. Can you believe it’s been 27 years since they made it?
Anyways, I love the quote above, because it’s so easy for us to get used to our lives. I remember hating my job as an investment banker yet I adapted quickly to the paycheck every two weeks. The same drive, the same routine the corporate culture. I adapted and it took me five years to break through my own self-imposed prison to create a new life for myself.
Like Andy Dufresne, I had hope for freedom.
Even still with all the planning and working towards my eventual goal to be free to the job I hated, I still tried to negotiate a way to stay there! I didn’t want to let go of my benefits and asked if I could "consult” on the side and help close the bigger deals.
My boss (or warden) told me I was either all in or all out. I was sick, but I said I was out… And the rest is history.
Nevertheless, how many times in our lives do we just settle because we’ve adapted to our environment? Do you feel stuck in an unhealthy relationship? A job that doesn’t serve your higher purpose? Are you procrastinating on that new exercise program because you’re comfortable?
Take some time this weekend and re-watch Shawshank Redemption. I think the movie is so beloved and stands the test of time because we all can relate to our own types of prisons. We can all relate to the themes of friendship, hope, and of course creating our own future and escaping those that are holding us back.
“I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope” Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding