5 Lessons from Point Break that Will Change Your Life

by |

Whether your idea of an adventure is catching a huge wave in Southern California or hiking the mountains of Appalachia, you likely found a muse within one of the characters of the 1991 film “Point Break.” Maybe it was Johnny Utah's willingness to try new and extreme things. Maybe it was Bodhi's absolute commitment to the ultimate ride. Either way, we all walked away from the movie looking at life in a different way. And if you happened to overlook these “Point Break” life lessons during the 75 times you watched the film, there might just be a little more to life than you ever imagined.

You Can't Put a Price on Great Friends

Bodhi's relationship with his “brothers” was something magical to behold. Watching these four guys conquer the ocean and sky by each other’s sides was enough to make anyone wish they could dress up like ex-presidents and rob banks. Well ... maybe not to that extreme, but you get the point. Bodhi, Nathaniel, Grommet and Roach had a bond that transcended their extreme nature, and Agent Utah and Bodhi would also reach that level before the end of the film.

Keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with enjoying the aspect of the beach lifestyle that lets you lay on the sand alone at night staring at the stars. If you've got a few friends as excited about taking chances as you are, though, they might just be worth their weight in gold. Keep in mind that close friends also help your well-being since studies show that people with friends live longer.

And come on, now—if you're base jumping off canyons, hurtling towards earth from 15,000 feet, or on the side of a mountain with only hundreds of feet of nothingness below you, it honestly doesn't hurt to stack the deck in the “living longer” column.

Hesitation Will Lead to Your Worst Fears

Right before running into the final bank robbery of the movie, Bodhi looks at Agent Utah and says “Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.” It's one thing to simply tell someone not to fear what they're doing. After all, it's that bit of fear that causes the adrenaline to pump through our bodies like an out-of-control freight train. What we can say, though, is to not let that fear dictate our actions.

Just think about it—what was your mind screaming the first time you stepped out the door of an airplane or bungee jumped from a bridge? For many of us, it was “What the hell are you doing?!?” There's that moment, though, where we clear our minds and just say “I'm doing this.” Fear will always be around, but if you can blank your mind for even one second to make the leap, there's nothing fear can do to stop you at that point.

Whatever you do, don't let it lead to hesitation. This hesitation could mean you never focus on the fitness routine that gets you in shape for rock climbing, or it could make you stumble while jumping into a gorge because you hesitated at the last moment. Whatever the case, letting fear lead to hesitation rarely works out well when your goal is living the life you love.

A Change of Scenery Is Sometimes Exactly What You Need

Johnny Utah started out as a quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, but when that fell through, he ended up in Quantico training for one of the most adrenaline-fueled careers you could experience: FBI field agent. Of course, this wasn't where he stopped, and within the course of the film, he seemed to become more of a Southern California wave junkie than an FBI agent. In fact, the last scene of the movie showed him tossing away his badge on his way to bigger and better things.

The lesson here is that, if you've become complacent or simply aren't finding the adventures you're seeking where you are, look elsewhere. There's no shame in leaving the beach lifestyle if you'd rather have the option of snowboarding down a double black diamond every day of your life. Heck, maybe spending some time in Venezuela to jump from Angel Falls will be enough to satisfy your journey to the ultimate ride.

Whatever the case, break away from the chains that are binding you to a place if they're stopping you from doing what you love.

Do What You Love While You Can

Maybe the most memorable line in “Point Break” came from Bodhi himself: “It's not tragic to die doing what you love.” If we're being honest with ourselves, it's pretty much tragic to die doing anything, so don't let this quote take on too literal of a meaning when you're enjoying drinks with the fellas after a day of rock climbing. We can take one very important lesson from this simple quote, though: do what you love while you've got the chance.

Living a life you love means taking chances and enjoying new experiences. Unfortunately, we won't always have that option. Let's be honest—what are the chances we'll still be surfing at the age of 85? I've got my fingers crossed on that, but I'm not holding my breath just yet. Whether we die doing what we love or simply are unable to take the chances we once did, our window of opportunity for living a life less frightening is constantly on the decline. Don't make excuses and don't procrastinate: get up and do something exciting right now.

Stick with It. It's the Source, Man

The final life lesson from “Point Break” doesn't come from Bodhi, Utah or even Agent Pappas. It came from the young boy at the surfing shop where Agent Utah got his first “pig board” surfboard. He told the novice FBI agent, “Hope you stick with it. Surfing's the source, man. Can change your life.” As it turns out, this goes for more than just surfing. If there's an extreme sport or an epic adventure you've yet to try, get to it and stick with it.

Maybe you need to focus on health and fitness to get ready for that climb up Kilimanjaro. Better yet, maybe you're like Utah and have decided to take up surfing for the first time. Whatever it is, stick with it. Failure isn't something you want hanging over your head when you finally catch your own personal “50-year storm.” And if it makes you feel better, scientists say it only takes about two months to form a new habit. Why not commit a couple months to finding your own “source” and changing your life?

What's the main life lesson you took away from “Point Break”? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments, and vaya con Dios!


Posted in

Stephan Aarstol is an American internet entrepreneur and author of the book The Five Hour Workday, which is based on Tower Paddle Boards' invention of the 5-hour workday in 2015 that would eventually spread the idea to over 10 million people worldwide. Since founding Tower in 2010, it has gone on to become one of America's fastest growing companies and Mark Cuban's best investment in the history of Shark Tank. Tower has diversified into a direct to consumer electric bike company called Tower Electric Bikes, a beachfront event venue called Tower Beach Club, and NoMiddleman.com, where consumers can shop all the world's finest direct to consumer brands from one easy place.