As you’re reading this, I’m heading down to Myrtle Beach for a few days of golf with a dozen of my closest friends. One of the things we do there besides play golf is eat, and since the food in Myrtle, with a few exceptions, is not very good, we cook a lot. While cooking is going on, we generally watch old movies. “Guy movies.” You know – stupid comedies from which almost any guy can quote a line or two. Animal House. Caddyshack (hey, it’s a golf trip!). And usually The Blues Brothers.
Even if you’ve never watched it straight through, you’re probably aware that this picture stars John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd as Jake and Elwood, and I think it might be the first Saturday Night Live-inspired movie, one where characters created on the show are expanded into film (12 years before Wayne’s World!). The plot revolves around the brothers putting together their band to hold a concert to raise money to save the Catholic home where the boys were raised. Besides some great music, the one thing I always think of when I watch this film is Elwood’s deadpan intonation of “we’re on a mission from God.”
That line is something I’ve used with some regularity with fellow workers when things were difficult. It was a way to lighten the mood. But it’s also something that really rang true in the back of my mind. It’s the single-minded focus that Jake and Elwood have toward accomplishing their mission that I think we all can use. While I’m not sure outrunning the entire Illinois State police department is something to emulate either in business or in our daily lives, the feeling of being on a mission is. If you can’t find that mission, maybe it’s time to change plans.
Got a little Elwood in your life?