If you grew up in the 80’s you saw this in almost every action movie or TV show.

It was the montage.

mr-tLet’s say B.A. Baracus and the rest of the A-Team had to whoop somebody’s ass. First they needed to build a van that could launch missiles and orbit the moon using only lawnmower parts.

While some cheesy 80’s synth rock music played we watched them weld and try things, break things, try again, and ultimately get it right. The music finished and they unveiled their drivable WMD. Whatever it was, I wanted one.

Same with the Karate Kid and Rocky. They were up against the wall, about to get their asses kicked. Time to learn how to kick some ass. They try things. Fail. Try some more. Get better. Get even better. The music is loud.

That’s the montage.

The montage speeds us through the challenging, less sexy part of growth — the work, the trial and error. But that’s where most of us need to focus more.

When I talk to a guy and he’s telling me about some big challenge in his life — learning how to make more money, learning how to have difficult conversations with people, learning how to (insert something scary to him) — I like to remind him of the montage.

“This is the part in the movie where you dig deep and LEARN something. This is where you GROW to meet the challenge. This is where you get to screw up and learn how to get it right.”

Many guys are waiting for the scary thing to simply go away. They avoid the scary thing. This is how life gets small.

This is how the life gets sucked out of their lives.

So I ask them — and I’ll ask you, too — If you were to overcome this challenge, what would your montage look like? What would you need to learn or create in order to tackle this thing?

Cue the music.


PS Here’s a great explanation of a montage from the movie Team America.