How to become a self-disciplined bad ass: Lessons from The Accountant

1. Nothing is impossible through self-discipline. Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is not your average type of bad ass. He has high functioning autism. A genius with numbers and the incredible ability to go into hyper focus mode. He’s socially awkward; blunt and direct. Jokes, sarcasm, and common social cues confuse him. It’s funny as hell to see his conversations with people. Arrogant douchebags despise him. Chill people accept him. Christian learned to live an independent, self-sufficient life.

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CC image by Kanban Tool

Christian’s father (Robert C. Treveiler) was a soldier and self-discipline perfectionist. He took his boys, Christian and Brax (John Bernthal) around the world. They our trained by the best martial artists and Special Forces type operatives. He raised them to stand their ground and perform with the utmost precision. Failure is not an option. Christian became an independent accountant for high profile criminal organizations. Brax became the leader of a hit squad. Christian survived the criminal world by staying on the move and outsmarting his enemies.

Christian’s a killing machine. Nobody can match his deadly fighting and shooting skills. Intense self-disciplined allowed Christian to overcome any obstacle that he came across.

2. Simplicity over complexity. Simplicity keeps Christian moving forward in life; rigorous routine and hyper focus. He must complete tasks or he becomes agitated when his plans fall apart. He lived with nothing but the essentials. He had few possessions along with a few beautiful painting masterpieces. They brought him peace and calmed his mind. Christian had about a dozen identical suits and shoes. He owned one set of silverware and dishes. It took him 50 seconds to do the dishes. His food menu was simple. It never changed. It takes me five minutes to decide what to eat from a menu because everything looks good. Million-dollar idea: Restaurants where you can sample the menu before you eat it like Costco. Now, make it happen!

I love pure simplicity and efficiency. Decision fatigue is a bitch to deal with. I hate wasting time on unimportant decisions. Finding ways to automate unimportant decisions is a lot of help in life. Don’t complicate life. Flip the bird to stress and anxiety.

Living a simple life brings out the best in you. It enhances your focus on what’s most important in life. You begin to lead a meaningful life. Amazing things start to happen.

3. Embrace who you are. Christian was socially awkward and he was cool with it. He ran into problems and he solved them without complaint. Fear didn’t hold him back. He was not afraid to be who he was. His autism didn’t slow him down; it made him stronger. Christian embraced his strengths. He could go into hyper focus mode and master anything he put his mind to.

When you focus on your strengths, you no longer see yourself as a failure. You know who you are. You’re capable of greatness.  Disabilities or limitations don’t have to hold you back. You can overcome any challenge in your life when you have faith in your abilities.    

4. Live by an honor code. Christian was in prison for a while and his cellmate became a father figure, best friend and mentor. He handled numbers for a mafia crime family. He taught Christian everything he knew about surviving the criminal world. He also taught him how to become an accounting mastermind. The crime family had Christian’s mentor tortured and killed. Christian struck back with brutal vengeance by taking them all out. Christian has a strong loyalty to those that are close to him. He lives by a strict honor code. You don’t screw with his loved ones or those he cares about.

Honor is what separates us from the scumbags. The true test of a warrior is in their strength of character.

5. Love can conquer any obstacle. Christian met a friendly accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) on one of his accounting jobs for a client, Lamar Black (John Lithgow). Dana took a genuine interest in Christian. Christian and Dana discovered inconsistencies with Mr. Black’s company financials. Mr. Black was an evil, old crony businessman. He hired Christian’s brother Brax and his hit squad to kill his employees who knew too much. Christian found out Dana was in danger and he risked it all to keep her safe. He took her to a safe place, while he took down the hit squad and worked things out with Brax. Christian and Dana developed a strong connection towards each other. Dana wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Christian believed she would be better off without him.

That’s bullshit. Love always deserves a chance to succeed because it will amaze you every time. No obstacle is impossible to overcome through love. Don’t ever give up on love under any circumstance. Love is more powerful than you could ever imagine.

What amazing things have you accomplished in life through self-discipline? Did you ever think it was possible? Share in the comments.


Reader’s Choice #4: Why Guys’ Don’t like Chick Flicks

Guys typically do not like showing their emotions and believe that when you show emotion, it is a sign of weakness but it is the exact opposite.  It takes courage to show your emotions and to let everybody know that you have a big heart.

If I watch a tearjerker movie or a chick flick type movie, my eyes begin to tear like the Niagara Falls, especially if a significant character in the film, person or dog dies.  I’m not afraid to admit that film has the potential to touch my heart and move me.  Sad, touching films make me tear up and get all choked up inside.

Crying or tearing up during a heart warming film is nothing to be ashamed of or make you any less of a man, it only means that you have heart and a conscience; we’re only human after all.

Some chick flicks are pretty good movies, the ones with a lot of comic relief.  For one of my weekend movie rituals awhile back when my Mom came up to visit, somehow, she talked me into seeing a film called, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which I protested at first, enjoying the film up until the end with quite a few laughs.

Some chick flicks are pretty amusing and entertaining but some chick flicks have a tendency to be overdramatic and cheesy to the point where I don’t want to take a risk and see a chick flick.  Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised and amazed how funny certain romantic comedies can be.

It is not that I don’t like chick flicks personally, but the male testosterone within me wants to see intense car chases with roaring engines, bullets flying, martial arts, all around-ass kicking, and glass shattering explosions, not watch a tear jerker flood my eyes and cramp up my throat.  Thanks but no thanks.

Society instills in us guys’ that it is uncool and feminine to express our emotions but that is a societal misconception.  When I say expressing emotions, I don’t mean cry about everything and surrendering over your testicles to the opposite sex.  I’m talking about communicating what is on your mind.

Remember guys, expressing emotion is not a weakness; it is only ridiculous to let your girlfriend or wife control your actions and life.


Interview Series 1, Pt. 1: Interview with Judie Chesson

This will be the first addition of the Interview Series, where I interview important people in my life and interview various people to learn from them, hear inspiring thoughts, different perspectives, and point of views on life.  I think that people can learn a lot from each other and I believe that all individuals have something to contribute to the world; we all have something to say, a voice.  You can gain inspiration from many positive thinkers in this world; you do not have to be famous.

For the first interview, I am going to interview an important person in my life named Judie Chesson.  I have known Judie for many years; she was my aide through junior high and all throughout high school.  She is one of my best friends, a family friend, my life coach and mentor.  Judie is a major inspiration to my life.

Let’s get right to the interview:

1. Hi, I am looking forward to interviewing you.  Can you briefly tell the readers about yourself?

I was born in the Midwest and I have been in California for 50 years with four children from two marriages.  One of my girls died at 39 (this is too much for anyone to bear, the pain is never ending).  I have worked waitress work part time in California for 50 years, while holding other day time jobs and I have had twenty-one different jobs before I found my ideal job; I am presently retired, but I may be going back to work in July.

2. What are you most passionate about and why?

I am totally in love with animals and I have been all my life, since I was eight years old; I can remember the first one that captured my heart. Over the years I have learned that animals are people in different bodies than humans.  In fact, I have had more animals in my life that have proven to be smarter than some people I have known.  They are certainly more psychic and spiritual and I have always felt a certain “kinship” with them.

3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in life?

The most important lesson that I have learned in life is to give, give and give, all the love, help and respect you can, to those who need it.  It’s like the bible says (if you know me, I’m not a holy roller) when you cast your bread upon the waters it really does come back to you, maybe not as soon as you would like but it does come.

4. What job or career did you have that you got the most enjoyment and meaning out of?

The most enjoyable job or career that I have had is without a doubt when my old boss Jim Tremaine (Psychologist) called me and told me I would be taking care of the first inclusion class for developmentally delayed kids at the middle school.  I had the first group and really didn’t realize how important this job was until I had been at it for several years.  It was just “I” through the whole journey and I loved every one of those kids.

Why, you ask?  It was because of their honesty, I felt that I finally had found my “niche” in my working career after so many years; and let me tell you, we had a ball and of course, a lot of the teachers couldn’t stand me because I always took “liberties” with the rules and of course they couldn’t, being “teachers.”  Then I met a young man that Dr. Tremaine warned me I might have problems with because he did not like to do the prescribed floor exercises that his Doctor had ordered. I   just said  “no problem” after all I had no idea about the group of kids that I started with: blind, autistic, really slow, and Williams syndrome (something I never even heard of.)

Well, I’ll tell you, what a challenge.  I saw myself in this young man, independent as hell, even if he was in a wheel chair!  Sometimes, when I think back I feel that we have “grown up” together!  In fact I have always felt that Jim Tremaine always knew that the young kid and I would be a good match.  I saw Jim a few months ago at a funeral; I didn’t know he had left the state, until he came up to me at the graveside and hugged me and told me I would never die.  What a complement huh?  He asked about this young man I had worked with and I told him we are still friends and always will be.

5. Who or what gives you the most inspiration in life?

What gives me the most inspiration is my belief in a higher power that I cannot see, but can feel.

6. What is your favorite quote that has been said or written?

My favorite Quote is: “Without Honesty there is no truth, without truth there is no understanding, without understanding there is no love, without love there is nothing.” Author: Anonymous. 

7. What book that you have read that was the most inspirational and meaningful to you?

“The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.”  It is a real description of what love is.

8. Who is your favorite actor/actress and why?

My favorite actor is Jack Nicholson because in each film I have seen him in, he never seems like he is acting, but living the part.  The last movie I saw with him was The Bucket List.  Anthony Hopkins rates up there right along side Jack Nicholson.

9. What film that you have seen that was the most inspirational and meaningful to you?

The most inspirational and meaning film that I have seen was, “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks, starring Gina Rowland and James Gardner.  It depicts real emotion.  The film, Legends of the Fall is another one of my favorites (saw it for the 5th time).

Thanks for your time.  This concludes part one of the interview.  Part two will be along soon.