Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Have Fun Storming The Castle!"

This is an editorial from my first site,, (most beloved and now retired) and given all that's afoot these days in Carrie Neal Land I thought it quite appropriate to repost . . . happy reading!!

“Have Fun Storming the Castle!” (or, Why You’ve Gotta Have Friends)

Who wouldn’t want to be Princess Buttercup? She of the flowing blonde locks, groomed horse at-the-ready, and devoted (not to mention, handsome) farm boy at her every beck and call. Sure, there were a few stumbling blocks on her road to happily-ever-after, but we can learn quite a few valuable lessons from “The Princess Bride.”
Here’s what Buttercup and her cast of characters can teach us about life, love and loyalty:

Pay your dues: “Westley had no money for marriage, so he packed his few belongings and left the farm to seek his fortune across the seas."
Leadership styles matter – and no one likes ultimatums or management-by-intimidation:

Vizzini: “Have I gone mad, or did the word ‘think’ just escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic landmass! Do you want to go back to where you were, unemployed – in Greenland?!”

Listen for people to tell you who they are, and believe them when they do:

Fezzik: “You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.”

Keep a sense of humor, and of hope: “There’s a big difference in mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.”

Learn to assess your strengths and weaknesses accurately – and no matter how good you think you are, keep a sense of humility:

Vizzini: “I can’t compete with your strength, and you’re no match for my brains.”
Westley: “You’re that smart?”
Vizzini: “Let me put it to you this way. Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons!”
Westley: “In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.”

Fight fair:

Inigo Montoya: “I promise I won’t kill you until you reach the top…Any way you’ll believe me?”
Westley: “Nothing comes to mind.”
Inigo Montoya: “I swear on the sword of my father, Domingo Montoya: you will reach the top alive.”
Westley: “Throw me the rope.”

Multitasking is a valuable skill, in your personal and professional life:

Prince Humperdinck: “You know how much I love to watch you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th Anniversary to arrange, my wedding to plan, my wife to murder and Guilder to blame for it. I’m swamped!”

Recognize and respect worthy competitors, and use them to improve your own game:

Inigo Montoya: “I am going to duel him left-handed.”
Vizzini: “You know what a hurry we’re in!”
Inigo Montoya: “It is the only way I can be satisfied. If I use my right, tsk! Over too quickly.”

Decide which excuses are legitimate, and which you’ll accept, from yourself and from others:

Vizzini: “You were supposed to be this colossus! You were this great legendary thing…and yet he gains!”
Fezzik: “I’m carrying three people, and he’s only got himself.”
Vizzini: “I do not accept excuses. I have to find myself a new giant.”

Keep the faith – and there’s no greater test of it than love:

Westley: “Hear this now: I will always come for you.”
Buttercup: “But how can you be sure?”
Westley: “This is true love. Do you think this happens every day?”

Pick the leaders you follow and friends you keep carefully:

Fezzik: “I came upon a stable and saw four white horses. And I thought,
there are four of us – if we ever find the lady. Hello, Lady!”

Know the rules of engagement for any contest into which you enter: “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is ‘never enter a land war in Asia.’ But only slightly less well-known is this: ‘never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line’!”

Take the risk:

Miracle Max: “Bye-bye, boys! Have fun storming the castle!”
Valerie (his wife): “Do you think it’ll work?”
Max: “It would take a miracle.”

I think the Princess would be quite pleased with what we’ve learned from her story.

P.S. Have patience and remember this: “Rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!”

P.P.S. Watch out for ROUS’s – Rodents of Unusual Size, big or small, can lurk in the most surprising places.

© CarrieNealLand Press, 2006

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