From the Top of the Tree: A Golden Era of Inspiration

Movies offer a mindless opportunity to temporarily get away to another place and time. I enjoy all types of movies: classic, action, drama, comedy and independent, but it’s the classic films I recently watched that have resonated with me. First, if you haven’t watched one lately, I strongly advise it. When I say classics I mean films from the golden age of Hollywood circa the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. There is something very special about this time and these movies.

The actors and actresses are impeccable from their perfectly painted faces and styled hair to their carefully selected attire – everything flowing from shoe to hat. The plots are simple, honest and not overshadowed by special effects that boom from the speakers. The speech and dialogue are formal with undertones that entertain but are neither crude nor embarrassing. The length of movies is tolerable at 1-2 hours and you don’t feel as though you have wasted half of the day by watching them. It’s true that cinema has come a long way with many improvements, but the classics provide a glimpse into when being an actor or actress meant something different because they carried the film. Old movies are a testament that good, solid entertainment doesn’t have to be over the top – that a black-and-white film from the ’30s can stand up to any film in today’s theaters.

Based on these observations, I began thinking about society, businesses and the daily shuffle
wondering what I could take away from this era and its movies to bring back some of the classics within my own life. It brought me to these five thoughts:

1. Dressing to impress is still a key factor in business today. Carefully tailored and coordinated clothing stand out. Those who take the time to embody the glamour and prestige of classic stars shine a bit brighter.

2. Getting down to basics in a world of details is cumbersome, but it’s imperative to always find your way to the center of each and every matter. If every situation in life plays out like a plot and that plot is easily lost in the shuffle, getting back on track is twice as hard.

3. Formal speech and writing is fading faster and faster, especially with technology. A well-spoken professional or well-executed email, however, gets my attention every time, perhaps because it is so rare.

4. Knowing your craft and perfecting it whether your journey was long and difficult or quick and lucky makes for a long career in the end. Leave a legacy you will be proud of in old age.

5. And simply, the classic things in life defy the ages.

With the leaves turning and a new season upon us, the kind reminders from simple, black-and-white movies are ones I hope will inspire you too. In everything we do, the past has something to offer us, learn from and bring us back to those basic concepts that get lost in our ever-changing society.