Nicholas Cage in "Gone in 60 Seconds"

One of my all-time favorite movies is the Nicholas Cage classic “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

This is not just because Nicholas Cage and my brother Adam could be identical twins, either.

In the movie, Cage plays car thief Randall “Memphis” Raines. His nemesis, Detective Castlebeck (played by Delroy Lindo) and Castlebeck’s sidekick (played by none other than a younger Timothy Olyphant, aka Justified’s Raylan Givens) spend what seems to be every waking minute trying to bust his chops.

Continually throughout the film, you hear Castlebeck muttering, “The easy way or the hard way, Raines….the easy way or the hard way.”

I must have watched the movie a dozen times before I realized that that was my favorite line. It felt like something I’d been asking myself for most of my (now) 41 years.

Me with my brother Adam (aka "The Young Nick Cage")

I mean, don’t get me wrong – after 15 years with anorexia and bulimia, and a good decade longer battling anxiety and depression, I am proud as heck that I’m still around after 41 years…but I still don’t seem to have mastered choosing the easy way the first time around.

It takes the time it takes. And until then, thank goodness for mentors like Memphis Raines.

Today’s Takeaway: Sometimes the hard way is just what we need to experience in order to learn what we need to learn. Where has taking the hard way benefited you in ways that you needed at the time? What can you take from those experiences to help you pave an easier future path for yourself, even when hard times come?