This week I wasted some time watching a movie, “Secretariat”. I really didn’t have the time, but last year I had seen (and enjoyed) the movie “Seabuscuit”, and decided to “make the time” to see “Secritariat”. Both are movies trumpeting the success of a race horse (and their owners), largely with a message of “If you will it, it will be”. But I felt that there was a very subtle difference in the tone of the movies.
In seabuscuit, the message that a “damaged” horse and rider are still worthwhile is loud and clear. The decision to keep the jockey despite his vision problem is a prime example. But there is a much bigger difference. In seabuscuit, several of the scenes show the training period, the intense preparations. In “Secretariat” this is notably absent. Instead we see the fierce determination of the owner to win (even when the whole effort is apparently impacting on her relationship with her husband and family). [ Yes, determination is important, but the question arises: “At what price?”] But the near absence of scenes from training sessions seems to lead the viewer to a message of “determination is paramount”. And I hate to say it, but it isn’t. Because determination is limited in what it can obtain.
For example, take dieting. A good resolve to diet and lose weight is good. But if you don’t match that determination with getting enough sleep, exercising, having vegetables on hand, and finding non-food alternatives to stress, determination is not likely to get you very far. If you REALLY want to do something, you will need to take the necessary steps to get there.