KING KONG LIVES AND SO CAN YOU
King Kong Lives is a terrible movie. Surprisingly, I also find it super motivational. Released in 1986, King Kong Lives is a sequel to the 1976 masterpiece, King Kong, starring Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin and introducing Jessica Lange.
Kong 76 has a huge place in my heart. If I’m being honest, Jeff Bridges’ killer beard in the film is where my beard love started. The film’s heartbreaking finale takes place at the World Trade Center. As a native New Yorker, I don’t need to go into why that resonates with me now more than ever.
My heart may not be in King Kong Lives, but the film does begin with Kong getting a giant-sized heart transplant. I’ll leave the rest of the Kong Lives plot for you to explore at your own risk.
How does Kong Lives motivate me? The future work of one of it’s screenwriters, Steven Pressfield, that’s how.
Released in 1986, King Kong Lives was expected to be a massive blockbuster. At the age of 42 and after 17 years of writing, King Kong Lives was Pressfield’s first professional writing job. Can you imagine the hope and dreams of having a feature film released only to be crushed by it being a total flop?
How many times have you come so close to greatness only to find yourself on the side of failure?
It would be a decade later when Pressfield would finally see success with his novel The Legend of Bagger Vance. The book would go on to become a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon. Perseverance to his calling kept Pressfield going when many would have thrown in the towel.
For me, Pressfield’s greatest work came in 2011 with The War Of Art. Pressfield teaches about fighting "resistance" in War of Art. Resistance is the force that keeps us from being our greatest most authentic self. Resistance can be seen as fear of success, fear of failure, fear of trying, etc. Resistance is real. I was blown away while reading the book. As someone that made a massive career change and went through a divorce within a short time frame, War Of Art made me realize that I wasn’t crazy. I was on the right path. My path was scary but I somehow knew I was supposed to be a coach. It was my calling. Not a job. Not a career. A calling.
I have stayed true to that calling for 7 years now. In the beginning I risked everything. I knew I could go back to the money in my old life if if things got rough. I decided it wasn’t an option. That wasn’t the life I was supposed to live.
Years later, I am married again, my kids are doing great and I have an apartment with it’s own training room. I have travelled the world to teach. It’s been a dream come true. Things aren't perfect or easy but they are worth fighting for. Thanks to Pressfield, I find comfort knowing that I am following my calling and that finding my true authentic self. I am waging war on resistance. I am slaying dragons.
Imagine Pressfield had given up after King Kong Lives? The War Of Art has had such a big impact on me and countless others. He could have gone back to his former gig in advertising, got a steady check and stopped writing. I’m grateful for Pressfield staying his course, battling resistance and continuing to create. He continues to motivate and inspire.
We can either let failure crush us, or we can let it be our greatest teacher.
Where are you in life? What resistance are you battling?
Maybe it’s time to confront resistance and follow your gut.
King Kong Lives and so can you!