Quentin Tarantino and the Importance of Doing What You Love

This Week’s BIG Idea

I’m almost done with Cinema Speculation, Quentin Tarantino’s second book after his novelization of Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood and I’m loving it so far. While reading the book, I kept thinking about something: how important is it that you do what you love?

Cinema Speculation is hard to describe because it combines elements from different genres into a unique concoction. This is a collection of essays about 1970s cinema where Tarantino talks not only about movies, directors, actors, and critics but also about his personal experience watching those movies as a kid. And let me tell you, it’s a wild ride. His prose is infectious to the point that I want to put the book down and watch the movies he mentions.

Although I’m not a fan of all of his films, something I’ve always loved about Tarantino is that he knows a lot about cinema. He keeps mentioning movies, actors, directors, and books about cinema, and it’s hard to keep up with him. He’s also an opinionated filmmaker, but he always compliments his opinions with strong arguments about why he likes or dislikes a given film. But even when his a connoisseur about all things cinema, he doesn’t look down on his readers. If Tarantino’s next film is in fact his last and he retires as a filmmaker, I hope he keeps working as an author.

So back to my original question: how important is it that you do what you love? I would say, very much so. This is something authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles discuss in their book Ikigai. If you’re interested, you can read my summary of the book here. The idea is that some of the oldest people in the world share some common traits: they eat healthy food, they are part of a community, and they have a mission. This mission is what the Japanese call, an Ikigai.

I often come across people like Tarantino, who discuss a topic at length and give you a dizzying number of details about it. These people are energetic and exciting and they draw you in with their sheer passion. They’re excited to be alive because they’ve discovered their Ikigai and they’re clearly spending every waking moment thinking about it. Be one of those people and do what you love.

What I’m Working on

This is somewhat related to the idea of doing what you love too. So I’ve been reorganizing my TBR (to be read) to include more books I read for fun. Although I enjoy reading self-development books regularly and working on summaries, I don’t want to lose sight of what reading means for me. It isn’t about being productive and learning all the time. It’s also about discovering stories that take me to new places or let me revisit old ones too. It’s about learning for the sake of learning.

If we’re not careful, productivity can become toxic. Not everything you do should be a side hustle or something you do with a specific goal in mind. You’re allowed to have fun from time to time. It’s so easy to forget this in a hypercompetitive world where everyone’s busy and proud of it. This is a personal reminder to never lose sight of the small things. Those are usually the ones that bring you the most joy.

What I’m Listening to

I have no idea if this works or not, but I’ve been trying to listen to white noise while writing. I’ve worked using coffee house noises and nature sounds. I find that white background noises help me concentrate and can get into deep work faster. Again, I don’t know the science behind this or if there are some proven benefits to doing it. But listening to white noise makes me more productive and invested in what I’m doing.

What I’m Reading

  • Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino: I talk about this at length in the opening paragraph of this article where I related Tarantino’s latest book to doing what you love, but here are some short comments about the book anyway. I really enjoyed Tarantino’s previous book, the novelization of his magnum opus, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. Cinema Speculation is a collection of essays where the renowned filmmaker talks about some of his favorite films of the 1970s. I’ve always been fascinated by Tarantino’s deep knowledge of cinema and infectious opinions. His personality shines through and even when I haven’t watched half of the movie he discusses in the book, his writing is so energetic and his essays so insightful that I want to put the book down only to watch the films mentioned.
  • I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramil Sethi: I haven’t read that many personal finance books, but the few I have, have been transformative. Among other things, I Will Teach You to Be Rich has lessons to get rid of debt, set up bank accounts, automate your finances, and simple investment strategies. As usual, I’m including a link to the book above, make sure you get the updated version because it features over 80 new pages of updated content.

What I’m Watching

In this short video, content creator Nathaniel Drew talks about how to implement minimalism in our digital life. The idea is to use a simple file structure to organize files in our computers and never lose anything important. This allows us to be more focused and productive. Drew explains the simple setup he uses to organize files in his Google Drive and on his computer. The reason I’m so attracted to systems like this one is because they work and they’re extremely simple to implement. It may take some time to organize everything the first time you do it, but once the system is up and running, you barely have to do anything.

This Week’s Quote

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens and 90% how I react to it.”

Neil Pasricha – The Happiness Equation

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