"There is No Spoon"

We’ve all seen movies that stick with us. The kind that get in your head so that you have to mull them over for hours, maybe even days afterwards.

How many of you have seen a movie that went beyond that to actually changing the way you viewed the world?

My favorite movie is The Matrix. It completely changed the way I saw life, and this is not an overestimation. It was a pivotal moment because I knew I was actually different because of what I’d just watched. That’s also why I went to see it in theaters 19 times (no, really).

This movie was a watershed moment for me. Its impact was profound on multiple levels, probably due to the fact that I was also taking philosophy in college at the time.

There is a line from this movie, which you’ve probably already guessed, that has become my tagline. So much so that it’s getting noticed. I want to explain why that line means so much to me and to Think Digital

The Spoon Scene

There is one scene in particular that struck a chord. It’s the scene where Neo, the main character, encounters this small, bald child. The kid’s head is shaven which immediately peaks your curiosity because he’s not sick; you can tell that it’s shaven.

This boy has been bending spoons with his mind, and he enters into a dialogue with Neo. He’s holding a spoon in his hand and it’s bending and moving and shifting and you can tell this little guy is altering the shape of the spoon with his mind. Of course this impresses Neo, who basically says, “Hey, how did you do that?” This is the rest of the scene:

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

(From The Matrix1999)

The Impact of the Spoon

The line that still sticks out to me is “there is no spoon.” That line comes up at various points throughout the movie and the rest of the trilogy just as Neo is about to attempt something that seems impossible. Something that actually, physically seems beyond the realm of possibility. Sometimes there is a visual cue of a spoon, but usually he says to himself “there is no spoon.”

As we know, in the Matrix you can bend and shape reality by freeing your mind from the shackles that the world puts on you. That line is fuel for him to attempt and achieve the impossible.

Now, that scene sticks out to me for a number of reasons, but it all centers around that statement “there is no spoon.” Over the years it has stuck in my mind that in real life, in our life outside of the movies, there is no spoon!

That which was impossible is now possible. We are able to achieve way beyond what we can think or imagine. Typically the only limiting factors are our minds. If we can’t dream it, we can’t achieve it.

This is why I have “there is no spoon” spraypainted on my office wall. Why I have had stickers made of that line. Why it’s in my bios on all of my social networks.

That statement really reflects a larger reality in which we are capable of so much more than we think. That which was impossible is now possible. It’s all tidied up in the phrase from a bald boy in a really trippy movie, and it’s stuck with me throughout the years.

What is Your Spoon?

For a lot of people, the spoon is that we have to work 40 hours a week. Clock in, clock out. Save 10% and retire when we’re 55.

The truth is that we are moving towards a world (and in some ways are already there) where that paradigm no longer exists.

What is your spoon? Where are you limiting your dreams or your capabilities?