We live in a cynical world, and sometimes a movie comes along that makes you want to do a little bit better; better at work, better at your relationships, better at life. At his best, Cameron Crowe makes movies with a clear-eyed optimism that can’t help but inspire more than a little passion. One of the prime examples of this is Jerry Maguire (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary), a film that focuses on a driven sports agent (Tom Cruise) who grows a conscience, loses everything, and has to rebuild his life into something a little more meaningful. Featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. in an Oscar-winning role as Maguire’s only (difficult) client and Renee Zellweger as his devoted partner in both business and love, you’ll learn more from Jerry Maguire than the weight of the human head.
Let these classic quips be your path to a more passionate life.
“I am out here for you. You don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here for YOU. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok?” — Jerry Maguire
Sometimes, in order to get what you want, you have to really put yourself out there. No one ever said that following your passion was easy, and Jerry is often going out on the ledge for Rod Tidwell’s career, and his own. It’s hard work, it’s frustrating work, but it’s the work that he set out to do with his mission statement. That’s a good reminder for you when the pressure gets to be too much. When you’re chasing a seemingly impossible dream, you have to put in the work.
“Maybe you don’t. Because it’s not just the money I deserve. It’s not just the ‘coin.’ It’s the… – ‘the kwan.'” — Rod Tidwell
“That’s your word?” — Jerry Maguire
“Yeah, man, it means love, respect, community… and the dollars too. The package. The kwan.” — Rod Tidwell
If you’re truly passionate about sucking the marrow out of life, you may find yourself embracing an unorthodox approach to your day to day. Rod may need to get his ego in check if he wants to succeed, but he definitely has the passion part down. Even when he’s jumping on Jerry’s last nerve, the man has the charisma to be a champion. The next time that you’re feeling rootless, just remember that it all comes back to the kwan.
“Help me… help you. Help me, help you!” — Jerry Maguire
One of the hardest things about living a passionate life is the fact that sometimes you might be left hanging by the people around you. You might find yourself having to motivate those around you to meet the same standards that you hold yourself to, but you should always open yourself up to offer help. Sometimes reaching your goals is a team effort, so use your passion to propel you and your team forward.
“I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game *featuring you*, while singing your own song in a new commercial, *starring you*, broadcast during the Superbowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not *sleep* until that happens. I’ll give you fifteen minutes to call me back.” — Jerry Maguire
A passionate person is always setting goals, looking for the next thing they can conquer. To paraphrase another Tom Cruise joint, sometimes your ego writes checks that your body can’t cash. Still, that pursuit of greatness drives you, and even if you may oversell, you aren’t going to stop until you’re the best.
“Let’s recap: Because a hockey player’s kid made me feel like a superficial jerk. I ate two slices of bad pizza, went to bed and grew a conscience!” — Jerry Maguire
Sometimes shaking up your life will leave you questioning whether or not you’ve actually gone crazy. Being mediocre and unhappy isn’t that bad, is it? When you get your epiphany moment, though, hopefully, you get the clarity of vision to know how to pursue your next step. Hopefully, bad pizza won’t be involved, but you never know when inspiration and passion may strike. Be ready.
“What do you want from me? My soul?” — Jerry Maguire
“Why not? I deserve that much.” — Dorothy Boyd
Getting what you want means asking for what you want. If you want to change your life from wanting more to pursuing passion, you need to know your worth. If you’re often left disappointed, ask for what you want. Nothing is ever just going to be handed to you. If you don’t go after what you want, like Dorothy did with her relationship with Jerry (and in leaving Jerry), you’re just going to be frustrated.
“How about a little piece of integrity in this world that is so full of greed and a lack of honorability that I don’t know what to tell my son! Except, “Here. Have a look at a guy who isn’t yelling ‘Show me the money.” Did you know he’s broke? He is broke and working for you for free! Broke. Broke, broke, broke. I’m sorry I’m just not as good at the insults as she is.” — Dorothy Boyd
Standing up for what you want isn’t always easy. In fact, it rarely is. You’re going to have to sacrifice and scrape by and hope that it all works out. Still, that fear of failure is part of what drives you. You can be down to your last dollar, but as long as you have your integrity and your passion, hope is never really lost.
“You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you!” — Rod Tidwell
One of the keys to living a truly passionate life is finding people who are looking for the same thing. Even if their quest for fulfillment is a little different than yours, people with passion are drawn to each other. Having people in your life that always have your back is something that can’t be over-valued. Even if they have an odd way of showing it, these people won’t let you down.
“I’ll tell you why you don’t have your ten million dollars. Because right now, you are a paycheck player, you play with your head and not your heart, your personal life is all heart but when you get on the field, it’s all about what you didn’t get, who’s to blame, who under threw the pass, who’s got the contracts you don’t, who’s not giving you your love. That’s not what inspires people. Just shut up and play the game with your heart.” — Jerry Maguire
On your quest to live a more transparent and full life, you may have to tell some uncomfortable truths, and you may have to hear some as well. You’re never going to find true passion if you’re lying to yourself and others, so being honest is an important step on the path to success. It may be painful at the beginning, but it’s better to tell the truth and help someone find their passion than to take the easy route and let them off the hook. They may not like it in the moment, but they will be better off down the road.
“Show me the money!” — Jerry Maguire
Sometimes it’s best to just get to the point.
A special 20th Anniversary Edition of Jerry Maguire will be released on Blu-ray 1/3.