5 things we can learn from pop culture to make 2014 our best year yet

happy-new-year-wallpaper-2014Funny, but for all of the scholarly quotes I’ve come across and enjoyed over the years, some of the best lessons came to me from fictional characters, disgraced athletes and musicians whose music I don’t even enjoy. Here are five of those quotes we should incorporate into our lives in the New Year.



Mark McGwire

“I’m not here to talk about the past.”
-Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire

Ever find yourself dwelling on mistakes you made, months, years, even decades ago? How about stewing over a lost love? Missed financial windfall? Blown opportunity that totally would have made your whole life better? Yeah, me too, and it’s a giant waste of time. Let’s learn from the mistake, accept its finality and move on. Because…

Sofia Serrano

“Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
-Sofia Serrano (Penelope Cruz) in Vanilla Sky

I don’t make a New Year’s Resolution. I make resolutions all the time. Some succeed, others fail, but the point is we don’t need a huge milestone to change our lives. As long as we’re still breathing, we can choose a new direction for ourselves. Even if those resolutions don’t turn out EXACTLY like we planned, the journey towards the new goal will be worth it. For you unforgiving perfectionists out there, remember…

Coach Eric Taylor

“I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the try.”
-Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) on Friday Night Lights

I love this quote. I’m not even going to break it down. Read it again, then see what you can apply it to in your life. And if you’re holding back because of fear that your “try” will be too embarrassing for the people in your life, tell them…

Elvis Costello

“I’m doing things because I want to do them. Not even because I want to do them but because I am doing them. I’m not doing them thinking about how I look doing them. People who don’t create anything think like that.”
-Elvis Costello

I talk to myself, sing constantly, and never worry about whether or not I look stupid doing something I love or think I might enjoy. We are here for too short of a time to indulge the fear of embarrassment. And on that note…


“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
-Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick)

Let’s see how many wonderful little moments we can create or just appreciate this year. Think of an extra effort someone made for you, and offer them genuine thanks. Look out the window during your morning coffee and take in all the activity from nature. Hug friends and family a lot.

Happy New Year!

About Matt DeMargel

Public Relations Flack, Health-Conscious Cyclist, Personal Finance Nerd, Global Wanderer and slightly deranged fan of St. Louis and Mizzou Sports. I only write when I have something to say, but I talk constantly!
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