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“Business is war. I go out there, I want to kill the competitors. I want to make their lives miserable. I want to steal their market share. I want them to fear me and I want everyone on my team thinking we’re going to win.” – Kevin O’Leary

I’ve run businesses for 30 years and, while things like pay phones and typewriters have changed, there is one thing that always stays the same: it’s a war each and every day.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Every meeting is a new battle. You have to rally the troops and head in with the confidence that you’ll come out on the other side. You have to be willing and able to fight for what your company needs, and you have to have the stomach for it.

To keep your sanity, you also have to take a break every now and then.

Whenever my brain feels like it’s about to explode, I try one of three things:

  • I confront whatever the problem is head on and do my best to solve it.


  • I exercise. Sometimes that means a long run to clear my head, other times it’s a double Bikram yoga class to help me relax. There’s almost nothing a little movement can’t fix.


  • I head to the movies. This is the easiest one. 🙂


Back when I was running my finance business on Wall Street, I lost one of our largest customers. Their company was going through a lot of changes, and it was the right direction for them, but it wasn’t for us. The day I found out, I attempted to work through it, and I made it through most of the day before I just needed to clear my head. That day, yoga wasn’t doing the trick and, when all else failed, I ended up at the movie theater.

A good movie can take you out of reality for a little while. It can help you relax and forget about all the stress you’re dealing with at work or in your personal life. It won’t make all your problems disappear, but it will give you the time your body (and your mind) needs to recharge.

Even Spartans need a break.

So next time you need to unwind, here’s why you should head to the movie theater:

Surround yourself with others.

Unless you’re going to watch a movie during a snowstorm, there’s no such thing as going to the movies alone. One of the best parts of going to the movies is the fact that you get to watch with other people and feed off their energy. It’s a collective experience. When they feel scared, you’re also on edge. When they cry, you’ve also got tears in your eyes. When they laugh, you’re also more likely to laugh. And when you’re feeling stressed, laughing with others really is the best medicine.

Change your focus.

In the office and at home, you’re constantly reminded of the things that you need to take care of. At the movies, it’s just you and the chair for an hour or two. You’re forced to focus on the screen in front of you, and not on deadlines and reports.

Look at things from a new perspective.

Movies help teach us about other cultures and human behavior. They can help us see things from a new perspective which is sometimes exactly what we need to solve our problems.

Want more hard-hitting advice on resiliency, leadership, and whole-body health?

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