Independent of age, background or interests, the James Bond series is something that permeates our culture. I’d be hard-pressed to come with someone I know who has not seen at least one of the movies. Not too long ago, I decided that I would watch all the Bond movies in order as I realized I had missed some of the earlier ones. I have ended up watching them a bit out of order, but have thoroughly enjoyed the process.
While watching, I was trying to figure out: what it was about Bond that makes it so endeared by multiple generations and backgrounds? Do we all relate to some aspect? Wanting to be a badass spy or dazzlingly dressed? Though I am still pondering that one, I did come up with a list of ten things I love and have learned from James Bond:
- Life is Short: This one is fairly straight-forward, but when your life is on the line every day, you certainly make sure to live each day to the fullest! I have never seen Bond in a movie pass up a chance for adventure. Need to get from point A to point B? Why not take a power boat! Or a helicopter? Or a really nice car? Bond has a fantastic way of even making the mundane things spectacular.
- Always Be Well-Dressed: James Bond is always well-dressed. Suit, tuxedo or “blending in”, he always wears high quality clothing. There’s something to be said to this approach, rather than having the eight latest styles how about just one high quality timeless outfit? I am as guilty as anyone for going for “what’s comfortable”, but I have been inspired to do a bit of an overhaul.
- Take Advantage of Good Fortune: I have yet to see Bond miss an opportunity in the movies. If a little luck rolls his way, he seizes it and builds on top of it even if it means moving faster than originally planned. This is another thing I think more folks, me included, can learn from. Don’t be afraid to change plans or roll with the flow as events unfold.
- Never Miss a Chance to Love: This is another obvious one, but have you ever seen James Bond say no to the opportunity to seduce a beautiful woman? Of course not. I’m not saying people should start sleeping around, but there is a valuable sentiment: never miss a chance to spend time with friends/family or fall back in love with your significant other.
- Educate Yourself About Your Passions: Bond is a regular connoisseur of his passions. Whether it is vintages of scotch, cigars or the best places to hide your gun, James Bond is extremely educated. I love this principle, figure out what it is you love and try to learn everything you can about it!
- Skip the Fluff: Bond doesn’t scrimp. It’s the BEST clothes, the BEST drinks, the BEST women and the BEST technology. You won’t see him bothering with well drinks! While this may be practical when every day could be your last, it probably isn’t for the rest of us. That being said, it’s a good reminder that it is worth waiting for the best of some things and skipping the rest.
- Tell People Exactly What You Think: James always says exactly what he thinks and means. He never lies (to good guys) and certainly tells it like it is (particularly with women). I don’t think it’s an obligation to say everything, but when you do provide your answer, let people know what you think!
- Remember to Laugh: Even in Casino Royale under torture, Bond manages to laugh. Don’t get too serious that you forget to laugh no matter the situation!
- Technology Is Only As Good As How You Use It: Q provides James with a large variety of gadgets over the years and he always manages to take advantage. That being said, he always makes sure to use it to his greatest advantage.
- There’s Always Another Bad Guy: This is a bit of a philosophical one…no matter how many obstacles you conquer, there always will be another! It’d be easy for Bond to be burnt out, but he always comes back. How you address the problem makes all the difference.
Dear Q, he was always one of my favorites despite never having a very long role in the movies. What are things that YOU have learned from your favorite Bond movie?