Gattaca - a science fiction movie that released in 1997. Yeah, way back in the dark ages. It tells the story of two brothers, one (Vincent – played by Ethan Hawke) a regular human full of imperfections like you and me, the other (Anton) a genetically engineered flawless superman. Anton overshadows Vincent throughout their lives in everything they do, including earning the praise of their parents. One of their brotherly challenges is an ocean swim, out as far as they can swim then back, and as you might guess, Anton always wins. But there comes a day when they swim one last time, and this time is different.
It was the last time we swam together and out into the open sea. Like always, we knew each stroke to the horizon was one we’d have to make back to the shore. But something was very different about that day. Every time Anton tried to pull away, he found me right beside him. Until finally, the impossible happened.
On that day, Vincent won. Near the end of the film, his brother asks him about it.
Vincent: You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.
I never saved anything for the swim back.
Look around you today, right now. Chances are good you’re surrounded by people who are, according to someone’s standards, superior to you. Maybe they’ve got a leg up when it comes to genetics, education, charisma, finances, you name it. At some level though there is something known as “the will.” And when it comes to the will, the ground is level. The question is, “How much do you want it?” whatever “it” may be.
Whatever you’re doing today, right now, are you giving it your all? 100% or even more? Or are you saving something, holding something back due to some insufficiency according to someone’s standards? The only person that withholding is hamstringing is you. Actually, it may also have a negative effect on the people around you who may be wrestling with their own imperfections, and could sure use a little inspiration in the form of someone who never saved anything for the swim back.
Whatever you’re doing today, right now, that’s how you do it.