5 LOA Lessons from The Amateurs

Go ahead and make fun, but I can find life wisdom and clues to success even in a porn movie.
Well, not actually a porn movie – just a movie about making porn movies.
Still, I even surprised myself with all the deliberate creator tips in this 2005 gem starring Jeff Bridges.
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from The Amateurs, a fun little movie about regular guys making their first adult film:
1. Honor the Big Dream
No experience, no funding, no connections … just a wild hair to make his mark on the world by producing a porn movie.  That’s what Andy Sargentee’s dream was.
Your ultimate desire doesn’t have to make sense or seem reasonable.  In fact, the best dreams defy sensibility and feasibility.  And anyone who has breathed life into their big dream knows that courage and commitment come in handy, too.
2. Do It Your Way
The movie creators did something in their research for production that warrants caution, though.  They rented out the entire adult movie section from their local video store to make notes about what their movie should include – basing it on what others have already done.
I made this mistake at one of my first jobs.  I was hired to write analyses of market research studies, and made a point of reviewing my predecessor’s work extensively to make sure my reports matched her style perfectly.  While one supervisor was relieved that his former employee was so easily replaced, another was disappointed because she’d hoped a new writer would bring change and fresh perspective.
In hindsight (and with Seth’s encouragement), I’d do it differently today.
3. Ignore the Naysaysers
I would have been one in Andy’s world.  A naysayer, that is.  I found myself thinking “Really? Your big dream is a porn movie?”  (As in: With all your resources and talents, you can’t do better than that?  Like the world needs another adult movie.  But it was Jeff Bridges and he rarely disappoints so I stuck with it – and glad I did!)
Point being: it’s crucial to ignore people who don’t get it when you’re dreaming your big dream.  What anyone else thinks doesn’t matter.  Unless they’re super supportive, and in that case they’re right, of course.  😉
4. Use What You’ve Got
I read an article that said lots of folks get a great idea and then are immediately stopped when they try to figure out how to get funding for it.  Instead of using that tired old “no money” excuse, honor your dream by using what DO have.  Ideas, relationships, and other resources that may give you a chance to show your creativity and commitment.
There are lots of paths to your dream come true that don’t require big bucks to get started.
5. It’s Always Working Out
My favorite inspiration from the show was this: Even when it seems things aren’t working out, they really are.  Often, even better than you could have imagined!
When Andy’s only copy of his completed film went up flames, it seemed disastrous and dream-ending.  But it didn’t take long before an idea struck that steered him toward the kind of success his little adult movie never could have delivered.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, and don’t mind a few scenes with some eyebrow raising language, you’ll find inspiration in this fun flick.  And if you have seen it and care to share any other LOA tips you picked up from it, please do!

  • March 19, 2011
  • Tomas says:

    I know that LOA is a fun pursuit for middle class people who channel their problems inward instead of realizing one’s condition is really the function of a much more oppressive social structure where most of the resources are being enjoyed by the top 1%. If we are really good at selling tupperware or do other odds-defying pursuits like exploit a unique talent we may acquire material wealth. The real problem we need to fix is a more progressive tax system which would improve the lives of not only the odd-defyers but more people.
    Meanwhile, like I said, LOA is “fun” but what is more important than saving one’s soul? Amazing Grace and Blessed Assurance are hymms that come to mind. Let’s recoil at the horror that one would actually mention religion which is the only true LOA plan that will have everlasting success” christianity, to be exact.

  • kim jensen says:

    I loved this movie! I am very proud of you too, many people would not post such a cool and out of the box subject to illustrate the workings of LOA.
    I am a lover of how life works but I find I avoid LOA-ers because of the language and all the crackers that must be consumed to swallow so much cheese.
    Thank you for making this palatable for the Real Person of the times and not covering it with that same sugary coating that makes peeps like me back off.

  • Cassie says:

    Love this article Jeannette! I love to find wisdom in movies. It helps to see it clearly. All awesome points. My favorite is, “Do it your way.” It’s your dream. You should do it your way. Thanks for sharing!

  • gillian Schulz says:

    Wonderful, Jeannette! Every time I look back its always our inner most heart’s desire that comes to fruition and it is so important to nurture our desire. Desire means expansion and growth.

  • Can’t wait to see that video, Michael! Have you got a link you can share with us?
    PS – I totally get it about how sometimes having less money to spend calls forth more creativity!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, this came into my day at just the perfect time! But I’ve come to expect that from you. It’s amazing how much BETTER you can create something with ‘just what you have’ than with huge budgets and crazy-cool tech at times.
    I’m making my first music video, and some of the limitations of the software I was using turned into one of the cooler effects I’ve seen in ANY video.
    Looking forward to seeing this Jeff Bridges movie with all this in mind though! thanks Jeannette…

  • I tend to play it that way myself, Nancy … being very particular about who I share my plans with, which is often just one or two people, if that. (And even then, it’s very carefully chosen people who I anticipate will be nothing but supportive.)
    I know we’re always told to solicit feedback and input, to test the market, etc. etc. but that isn’t something I’m willing to risk my dream on. ha

  • Yes, Jeannette, it’s true we can find LOA inspiration just about *anywhere*! 😀
    I love the reminder about #3: Naysayers. That has been a big key in my biggest manifestations. Let’s face it: Very few manifestations come about without interacting with other people. Yet, those others are rarely aligned with your dreams they way you are.
    So, get very very very clear within yourself ~ so much so that when someone doesn’t support you, you can see it’s THEIR disbelief, not yours! Allow them to have their belief, but know it has nothing to do with you. For me, this has sometimes meant blocking everyone out, and only allowing in those who are supportive. 😉
    Thanks for the movie recommend, Jeannette. I just added the movie to my Netflix queue.
    Many blessings,

  • Laura, I think that’s what helps us a lot – to reflect back on all the times we’ve seen that play out before. Not just in fictional movies, but in real life.
    At least, that helps ME so much remember when something seems to be going really south that this is actually Universe’s detour to something even better than what I had imagined.
    Always nice to see you here, Laura – thanks for posting! 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Great post Jeannette…I just love how you can see the principles of LOA in the least likely of places (well, not really, considering it’s always working).
    My favorite (or what I believe to be the most important and many times the trickiest of these to really keep in mind) is #5 “It’s always working out”…since we are asking and not concerning ourselves with the “how” we don’t know what the master plan is – meaning it is not our job to be orchestrating how this is all going to unfold. Many times setbacks or perceived failures are really just part of the bigger picture that one can see in hindsight. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this play out. Just knowing what you want is on it’s way and will unfold in it’s perfect way and timing keeps the energy flowing.

  • Agreed, Jennifer!! “We’ve got to honor our big dream to honor who we really are; to do anything less would be to turn our back on the juicy, vibrant life that we came here to live!”
    And yes, it takes guts but that’s part of what makes it so fun, right?! ha ha
    Thanks for chiming in, my friend! 🙂

  • Vanessa, I wonder if sometimes they reflect our own (maybe unacknowledged) doubts? Either that, or they’re just drawn to the light of inspiration and success!
    (I personally prefer that second thought.) lol
    Thanks for reading and for posting!

  • Jennifer Hooper says:

    I have not seen the movie, but of the five lessons here, I think “Honor the Big Dream” is best advice of them all. We’ve got to honor our big dream to honor who we really are; to do anything less would be to turn our back on the juicy, vibrant life that we came here to live!
    Jeanette, I love how you can find inspiration just about anywhere!
    All the best,

  • Lovely article Jeanette.
    I am sure I have seen the British version of this film which is called the Full Monty which is identical to what you are describing.I love all the tips you have given especially “ignore the naysayers”.It’s a hard one sometimes to do, but it’s crucial. Whenever I have a new project the naysayers seem to suddenly crawl out of the woodwork. Why is that?

  • Inspired by pirates? Oh, you know I want to hear more about that, Sarah!! lol

  • Sarah says:

    Say outloud I meant, lol! Da$& autocorrect- but iPhone I love that about you!

  • Sarah says:

    Love this!!! I always feel like going for ABSURD is key. If we don’t….we can never achieve the impossible which more and more I seem to be doing on a daily basis! Dare to say outputs those things others might scoff at- it’s all good :). Let them scoff while you live your dream! Lately I’ve been getting inspired by pirates- kinda absurd for a MD turned Beastie Totem-ologist- but then again……

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