Sunday, November 23, 2008
The Princess Bride: What are our assets?
Back at ya.
So how was the trip to the airport?
I had fun storming the castle.
Thought you’d like that.
So, another nugget for today?
I’ll let you be the judge of that, but yes, I have another couple of lines for your consideration. Here they are…
Westley: Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I on this wall? Where is Buttercup?
Inigo Montoya: Let me 'splain.
Inigo Montoya: No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry' Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape... after I kill Count Rugen.
Westley: That doesn't leave much time for dilly-dallying.
Fezzik: You just wiggled your finger. That's wonderful.
Westley: I've always been a quick healer. What are our liabilities?
Inigo Montoya: There is but one working castle gate, and... and it is guarded by 60 men.
Westley: And our assets?
Inigo Montoya: Your brains, Fezzik's strength, my steel.
Westley: I mean, if we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
Inigo Montoya: Where we did we put that wheelbarrow the albino had?
Fezzik: Over the albino, I think.
Westley: Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?
That’s more than a couple of lines.
I’m feeling generous today, but I’m going to zero in on Westley’s superb problem-solving intellect.
Really? How so?
Well, now here’s a man who’s been mostly dead all day, not really at the top of his game, but he is able to see what others don’t in the midst of a difficult situation.
What does he see?
He sees assets where most people only see incidentals.
Life is difficult. Full of problems. Inigo sum’s up the bigger problems in this tale, but it is Westley who finds a solution. He finds it by digging deep not just into the liabilities – everyone does that – but he digs deeper into what are our assets. The world is full of people who only see the problems. They don’t see the solutions that are hidden amongst the incidentals.
But Westley does?
Precisely. He is the archetypical Creative-Problem-Solver: optimistic yet realistic, panoramic yet detailed, a planner and a doer. He’s special.
So how does that help us?
We look, we learn, and we imitate. Many study those who’ve failed and seek to avoid their mistakes. Westley provides a short-cut: study those who’ve succeeded and imitate them.
An interesting approach, I agree.
And worth trying.