What can Jack Nicholson and Dr. Stephen Covey tell us about life?


I recently watched a 50/60-somethings film, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ starring Jack Nicholson (as Harry) and Diane Keaton (as Erica).  For much of the time Jack Nicholson/Harry seemed to be playing himself and without spoiling the plot, Jack/Harry has an epiphany about a third of the way through the film, causing him to re-evaluate his life and how he lives it.

Harry’s link with educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Covey (1932-2012) may at first sight seem tenuous. However, in his most popular book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ which has sold over 25 million copies since it was published in 1989, Dr. Covey writes: 

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” 

These words could have been written with Harry in mind. But what about the rest of us? How many of us come to the same realisation? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Am I in the right relationship?
  • Am I hanging out with the right people?
  • Am I in the right job/role/business/vocation?
  • Do my life/relationships/work have meaning?

If you answered no to any question or you have doubts, what’s that telling you about your ladder? And what will it encourage you to do?

Changing our ladder and our wall requires courage, commitment and self-belief. Most of all, it requires us to avoid procrastination – to be decisive and act. Dr. Covey provides some solace and encouragement:

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.” 

That’s what guides Harry’s actions in the film. What will this guide you to do and when? 

Post a reply. It will be great to hear from you.

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One thought on “What can Jack Nicholson and Dr. Stephen Covey tell us about life?

  1. Pingback: Something’s Gotta Give « moviewise

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