by Jack Warren
One of my all-time favorite films is the Coen Brothers classic, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? A combination of a great story, wonderful setting, great acting, and a superbly written script make this a film that I have watched at least 15 times. In the broadest sense, it’s a story about three travelling companions who are seeking a treasure. Given the frequency and magnitude of the laughter, this is a film best watched with friends.
In the film, the world-wise but not very self-aware Everett McGill (played by George Clooney) speaks from the heart, if not always through a filter. He gets so many things right, if only by total happenstance.
One of the most poignant lines in the film is delivered in typical Everett McGill fashion – with sincerity not yet completely worn down by years of seeming failure. Everett tells his travelling companions, “Well, as soon as we get ourselves cleaned up and we get a little smellum in our hair, why, we’re gonna feel 100% better about ourselves and about life in general.” On the surface this seems trite and superficial, especially given the trials that these guys consistently encounter. However, the truth lies much deeper.
You see, what kept the boys moving forward was a belief that the best was yet to come. A positive attitude is often the fuel that keeps you moving toward your desired target. Your attitude is of your choosing and if it takes something like a made bed in the morning, exercise, eating breakfast at your favorite restaurant, a walk with a friend, or a little smellum in your hair to change or enhance your frame of mind, then do it. Do it on purpose.
Like Everett McGill, you’re seeking a treasure every day. That treasure is not always what it seems. Regardless of the treasure, your attitude will either help you or keep you from it.