10 Quentin Tarantino Commandments For Living a Uniquely Successful Life
Writer and director Quentin Tarantino tells stories in a way that is uniquely his own; dialogue-heavy, blood-soaked, and quirky is the name of his game. In his work, Tarantino has given us a road map to making it big and motivated us to pursue our passions. Using his filmography as a guide, perhaps we, too, can reach our professional goals, like a bunch of bad motherfuckers. These are the 10 Quentin Tarantino commandments for living a uniquely successful life.
Cover Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto (Getty Images)
Another look: RANKED! The 10 Best Quentin Tarantino Films Leading Up To Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Surround yourself with people you trust. ('Reservoir Dogs')
Maybe all you really want in life is to experience a little bit of joy and build lasting relationships…or, maybe you want to pull off a successful diamond heist at the expense of those relationships. Regardless, know who to trust in order to eliminate regret. If you don’t pay attention to your relationships, you may just end up in an abandoned warehouse surrounded by potential enemies. There will be psychotic dance numbers, undercover cops and a fair amount of gunplay. Shake the right hands (badass hands of course), hug the right people and you’ll be able to go to sleep at night satisfied and a little less dead.
Be original. ('Pulp Fiction')
If life were a narrative, it would best be told as a non-linear, self-referential, pulpy and chaotic series of events—often without any rhyme or reason. The best way to walk this path is as a unique kind of shepherd. The loud, suit-wearing kind that carries a chrome handgun and swears at his flock. Embrace the quirkiest and most ridiculous parts of yourself. Do what ignites your soul. That way, if some punk and his “honey bunny” ever decide to try and rob you, you’ll be able to look them in the eye and allow them to experience a moment of realization—they done fucked with the wrong person.
Don’t place limits on yourself. ('Jackie Brown')
Let’s say you have more than one job (because you’re a boss and know generating multiple sources of income is smart). Balancing this lifestyle may prove difficult. At some point, maybe you get busted for smuggling dirty money and become stuck between a rock and a hard place—or rather, an arms dealer and the law. Now you could admit defeat and just go to jail; but instead, you double-cross both those fools and become the badass bitch of your story. Anything is possible with the right amount of calculation.
Set goals. ('Kill Bill: Vol. 1')
Daily, weekly and annual goals are paramount; make sure you're heading somewhere. Bills need killing and paying (the former being more metaphorical).
Embrace failure. ('Kill Bill: Vol. 2')
No one punches through on the first try unless of course, you're a majestic and terrifying Chinese master of kung fu. The rest of us will stumble, fall...maybe even get buried alive as we hike the torturous path to success. The lesson here is to dissect all the good and the bad. Learn. If you allow yourself to ignore the emotional aspect of failure, you'll be able to overcome anything—strike your way out of coffins and "five point palm exploding heart technique" your goals.
Nothing is free. ('Death Proof')
At a very young age, we are told to never accept candy or rides from strangers; hopefully, you've internalized that. Work hard, prepare and take advantage of opportunity—there are no handouts in life. The world is filled with psychotic stuntmen who cause wrecks just for fun. When these Snake Plissken wannabes offer you a ride, question the legitimacy of the proposal; if you accept, don't play the victim when it all goes south. Show that madman what you are: appropriately crazy in your own right.
Do what's right. ('Inglorious Basterds')
It's important to have a moral code to make life a little less gray. Don't sit around debating with yourself whether or not you treated someone fairly or interacted with the world in a commendable way. Be righteous: hold doors for people, be charitable, call your mom, and if someone is a fucking Nazi, don't do business with them—you can't reason with those guys. Most importantly, never expect a round of applause.
Find mentors and role models. ('Django Unchained')
Be sure to learn from other people. Sometimes role models come in the form of people who have been successful in your particular field and other times you may find yourself inspired by unrelated achievements, like Michael Jordan scoring 38 points with the flu. Whether that person is a professional athlete or a bounty hunter, take what they teach you, build upon it, and make the craft your own. Your long-lost wife will thank you.
Watch your ass. ('The Hateful Eight')
And let the haters hang.
Keep them guessing.
No one needs to know your master plan. Show up and quietly grind. Everyone will talk about the person at the height of their game that might be about to ride off into the sunset. As they continue to ask you “What's next?” you'll just shrug your shoulders and say “Not sure, maybe books and theater.” Modesty breeds legacy...plus it's fucking cool.