I made a short video on this subject before writing this article, also titled “Who is Your Tyler Durden”. I got some of my basic ideas out on video before taking more time to write them here. Check it out:
I may be a little late to the club, but in the year 2012 I have finally seen Fight Club. There were several interesting points in that movie, but one in particular stuck out. For those who have seen the movie, you will know the context of this quote,
“People do it everyday, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.”
This is spoken by the character played by Brad Pitt, known in the movie as Tyler Durden. He was talking to Jack, the movie’s main character, played by Edward Norton. Now the point I’m bringing up isn’t simply talking to yourself, although that may certainly be a part of it. What I am highlighting from that quote is the fact that we each have this self image of who we would “like to be“, who we wish we were, but are to afraid to pursue, or “just run with it“.
Jack met Tyler on a plane, and they eventually became close friends who started fight clubs across the country. It took time for Jack to let go of his normal, consumerism lifestyle with the nice apartment, stable job, and nice suits. Jack had always thought this was the way to do things, then he met Tyler. This stranger he met on a plane was the opposite of him, free in every way Jack wasn’t.
Over the course of the movie we see Jack become more and more like Tyler. First, he moves from his modern apartment to an old abandoned house with Tyler. Later, he starts to adopt the mentality of not needing to cower before his boss. By the end of the film, Jack has become freed from his previous life of desks, ties and society’s rules.
That’s all well and good for Jack, but how does this apply for us? It waves a simple truth in our face, that we are too afraid to be who we want to be! It is certainly true that we each have an image of ourself that is the person we wish to become. Fortunately, many of us may pursue it. Other times, however, it is not so easy. That is why in the quote above Tyler says, “they don’t have the courage to run with it“.
Well then, how do we run with this image of how we see ourself? You break the rules! Notice I said rules, and not laws. There’s a difference, it’s okay to break society’s rules, but don’t break any laws. That is just stupid.
There is no law that says you have to attend college, only a rule. There is no law that says you must work a 9-5 job or even have a boss, only a rule. There is no law that says you need a car, only a rule. There is no law that says you need to eat three meals a day, only a rule.
You seeing my point here? Think about who you are now, who you wish to become, and what rules are in your way. Write a list if you want. A list of what describes you now, what describes your “Tyler Durden”, and a list of what’s holding you back.
Think about it. Who is your “Tyler Durden”? I know you have one.