Lessons learned from the movie JOY

JOY is a movie about hope, dreams, creating, and finding oneself. Joy is a great movie that is based on the true story of Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire.

I would highly recommend you see it if you haven’t yet. Enjoy these life lessons that I took from the movie.

tumblr_inline_nzyfonSbdB1qb6g44_540Always DREAM: Joy: What happened to us? What happened to all the things that we used to dream about for our lives? I just feel like it’s getting further and further away.     You can see and feel Joy wondering what happened to the little girl who always would create and tell beautiful stories. She was worried that she was loosing that part of herself.      I think we all have moments like this, where we wonder what happened to our dreams, how we lost track of time and how we were going to get back on the path to following our dreams. They are just baby steps away. You can take one little step each day to learn something new, to talk to someone who is living your dream, to begin preparing to leave your job, to take small steps in the directions of your dreams. [Old or New dreams]. Just begin.


01-jennifer-lawrence-as-joyJust Do It! Create: Joy: In America everyday people make of what they will of themselves. I’m going to do something.     This makes me want to share tiny stories about big companies that started small. Melissa & Doug toys began with one toy 25 years ago & they sold it out of their station wagon. Nike also began out of the trunk of Phil Knight’s Plymouth Valiant. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Mattel–all began in garages.     We are all creators. It is just a matter of finding what inspires, motivates and lights you up.


joy-movie-reviewDon’t let the Naysayers in:  Mimi: [to Joy] You don’t exactly have your whole life ahead of you, but you still have a good portion of it. Peggy: Joy has never run a business. Rudy: It’s a big mistake. It’s my fault. I gave her the confidence to think she was more than an unemployed housewife. Peggy: It’s a fantasy!          Joy had to push beyond her limiting family and the beliefs they had. Joy was determined to rise above.       We each have people like that in our own lives. People who may belittle our dreams, who may naysay our ideas. Rise above it and begin to believe in the possibilities.  Remember: there is a positive and negative energy in everything. Do not surround yourself with those that are heavy, who can’t see the vision, who do not lift you and your ideas up. They will weigh you down in the end.


2A8E895500000578-3162558-image-m-40_1436976178504Believe in Yourself! If you don’t, who will?  Joy: I have real ambitions and real ideas.    Tony: What if they don’t see you?  Joy: They’re gonna see me no matter what.      Joy had quite a few obstacles that she had to handle and in the end it was her pure determination that got her through.         Each one of us will have walls that we hit within our lives and we have to figure out how to hurdle over them. Whether they are personal insecurities, having to learn something new for a job, changing jobs, creating a space to pursue a dream or just pushing forward when life gets tough. If you don’t believe you can–find a way. If you can find pure will, there will be a way. Believe.



Use any motivation possible to propel yourself forward: Even if it is your negative family. Joy:  I don’t want to end up like my family. I have to do things myself, once and for all.          It is safe to say that Joy was stuck in many ways. She was feeling like her back was up against a wall and all she could do was go for it. She found determination in that.


joy-101Bradley-JL-RudysCC_rgb.0Trust those people who have your back: In the end, Joy was betrayed by many she loved, but she also learned who would always have her back.          We have people who come and go within our lives, but hold tight to those who will be loyal no matter what. They are the true gems that will be worth the most in your life.


landscape-1436967071-screen-shot-2015-07-15-at-92838-amBe yourself! Even if it scares you. [backstage at QVC Joy is dolled up and given a poofy black early ‘90s style dress]
Neil Walker: Wow. Beautiful. What do you think? How do you feel?
Joy: I’d like to change just one thing, do you mind?
Neil Walker: Okay, surprise me.
Joy: Small thing. I’ll surprise you.
Neil Walker: Okay, surprise me.
[she goes back into the dressing room and closes the door, Neil paces impatiently]
Neil Walker: I wonder what the small thing is that she changes.
[Joy comes out of the dressing room wearing her hair down and she’s wearing a shirt and trousers]
Neil Walker: What? You undid the whole thing.
Joy: This is me.
Neil Walker: This is you? You’ve got the exact same outfit you had when you came in here.
Joy: I wear a blouse and I wear pants. That’s who I am. I want to go on as me.

Joy believed in herself and her product. She was determined to do it her way and did just that. She broke through the fear and found her wings.


landscape-1451924720-joy-movieThe Real JOY


Lessons learned from the movie All About Steve!


This movie I know will have a variety of reviews—many will think it is a waste of time or not find the humor in it. Others may enjoy it, but for some reason I LOVE Sandra Bullock in this movie. I was endeared by her optimistic, quirky character and here is why…


Mary Horowitz: crossword puzzle creator, loves words, wears red boots with everything, she is an eternal optimist despite what others say, she is smart, pretty and just wants to be normal—she thinks! She speaks 17 different languages, knows an unending number of random facts, talks to her pet hamster “Carol” and is such a joy to be around that her parents let her live with them, while her apt is being “fumigated” (for years).

Here are some great quotes and lessons learned from this cute movie…

Mary LOVE’S Crosswords, so there are some good quotes to take to heart


In life as in crosswords, some days are harder than others, and that’s what keeps your brain alive. To keep surviving those tough days is to pick yourself up, and stay focused on your life’s purpose. For me, that’s imparting the joy of crosswording to all mankind. Ahhh.. crosswording the most spectacular fun a person can have without passing out. -Mary         I think all of us have those moments where we need some sort of distraction to pull us through a tough spot in our life. I think each of us has our own way of dealing with things, whether it is losing yourself in a golf game, reading the paper, doing a crossword, swimming laps…some days may be harder & having a good outlet to let go is a good thing.


We really should try and make it work, because, so he decides for me to be normal, then normal we shall be.
– Mary          Mary wanted so desperately to feel normal, to be accepted, to be on the path to what everyone expects, so she decided if Steve wanted her to be normal, than that was what she was going to strive for. I think too often we can get caught in the trap of what everyone else expects us to be, to do, to dress like, to…we get lost for a bit, until we are able to define who it is we truly want to be.


Yes crosswords are a lot like life in that way, they’re only boring if you don’t have sense of adventure. – Mary          Life does need a bit of adventure, even little things. The other night I went on a hike with my husband & came across a large log across a stream. It wasn’t very high & the water wasn’t too deep, but I wanted a little sense of adventure, so I looked at my husband and said, “I am going to cross it!” I knew if I fell in, it would be a little swim, but I wanted that little sense of adventure, so I went for it. We need that every now and then.


Mary is not a psycho, you’re the psycho. She’s just a smart girl with red boots. – Angus          Often we are judged by the clothes we wear, the way we talk, the things we say. But I hope over time we can realize that what others say doesn’t matter unless we make it matter. I have had many discussions with my young daughter about people calling her things like, “Fat”, “Little Miss Perfect”, “Brainiac”…I have always looked at her and said, “Do you think you are fat or perfect or…” I always explain that others may say all sorts of things they think, but its what you think about yourself that truly matters the most.


Mary: You know one of my favorite ingredients in crossword is, perseverance. If you quit a puzzle you can’t finish it.
Sure every once in a while you’ll run into a doozy that you can’t ever solve in a million years but if you stick with it, 
you’ll figure it out… eventually. Worst thing you can do is leave it unfinished. It’s never the solution is it?
Howard: You know what my favorite part of our crossword is? When you realized you know something you didn’t think you knew.


She doesn’t pretend to be someone that she’s not. -Steve (about Mary)          This was a hilarious part in the movie. The one time Mary steps out of her natural character this is what happens. (shorter skirt, bra showing, wild catastrophe) I think this is a great lesson for all of us. We should always be striving to be ourselves, no pretending, no illusions of self, just straight up who we are. No regrets.


Words, people, words. There are meaningful words, there are pointless words, and then, there are words that hurt.
Mary why can’t you be like every other girl, why do you know all that useless information…why do you wear those stupid, red boots all the time – Mary          We have all experienced all of these types of words and people. What have you learned?


I wear these red boots because it feels like ten friends on a camping trip! -Mary          Mary tried to take her own happiness everywhere she went.     What do you do to try and make your life a little brighter?


He was my ticket to normal -Mary     Why do you want to be normal? -deaf girl          I thought this was a great example of times in our life where we hold a certain expectation of something & then reality brings us back to truly understanding what it is we really need in our life.


If life is like a crossword puzzle, then its worth, its greatness should be judge in the same way.
Is it solvable? Is it entertaining? Does it sparkle?- Mary        I just loved her positive way of being.

Mary, Don’t ever change for anybody. -Steve           Redemption! Finally. Mary gets the lesson & so does Steve.

image49New York Times crosswords editor Will Shorts says, “we have a natural compulsion to fill empty spaces.” I like to think he means not just crosswords, but the empty spaces inside of us that come from making your way in a world that doesn’t always embrace unique. I tried to fill my empty spaces with words, and puzzles, and steve. But that wasn’t the answer. Now I know. On the journey of life just find someone as normal as you, if not a whole bunch. -Mary          I love that analogy of finding oneself. We often FILL our voids, our spaces with many things (good and bad) in hopes that we will FEEL something. The world and all that is in it will not make us a better version of ourself, that is up to us.


Oh, and here’s a little bit of fresh Mary Horowitz wisdom,if you love someone set him free, if you have to stalk him he probably wasn’t yours in the first place. – Mary          Just a cute, funny, silly show with heart.

Mandatory credit: TM & copyright 20th Century Fox. No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. No Book or TV usage without prior permission from Rex Manadatory Credit: Photo by c.20thC.Fox/Everett / Rex Features (998550m) ALL ABOUT STEVE, Sandra Bullock All About Steve - 2009

On the journey of life find someone as normal as you. -Mary

It is a sweet show with heart. I hope all these fun images made you want to watch. smile. smile. FYI–There is a little scene in the van where she jumps Steve & it gets a little hot. There are also a couple of swear words, but other than that—I truly enjoyed the journey. Enjoy and make your own judgement!