Lessons learned from Good Will Hunting


Lessons Learned From The Movie Good Will Hunting

What lessons can we learn from the movie Good Will Hunting? There are a few important ones, in my opinion, including the main one, which is being true to what you are and what you want out of life, regardless of your past. I am inspired each time I watch this movie, which seems to warm the heart and soul, and stimulate the imagination upon repeat viewings.

The turmoil and challenges of main character Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) highlight not only the particular issues of being a troubled young man in a big city, but also the more particular ones coming from a background of abuse, being a genius, and having been orphaned at birth. The movie plays well on many levels. For instance, we all know what it is to come of age, and suffer troubling existential doubts and questions. We don’t all know, however, what it is to be an orphan; or, a mathematical genius. Many more than that do know what it is to come from abusive homes, and that’s one of the movie’s great inspirational strengths, as Will learns to face his challenges in life.

Importance Of Humor In Therapy

A key inspirational player in this movie is Robin Williams, as sympathetic and insightful psychotherapist Sean Maguire. The two characters work in dramatic tandem throughout most of the movie, providing we the viewers with laughter, tears, and much fodder for the soul and imagination. Williams, in the role of Maguire, shows aptly the role humor plays in therapy. It is a lesson on its own to anyone in the field of counseling or psychotherapy that humorlessness is a pathway to failure with a patient, regardless of how much understanding or pharmaceutical fixes there are.

The lesson of applying a sense of humor to life all situations is bestowed both upon Will by Sean, as well as on we the viewers, in a new way even if we’d subscribed to that philosophy already. It is the most refreshing and inspirational aspect of the film. For no matter how bad things appear to be for Will–or any of the characters in the film–the fact that they can ultimately laugh at their situation underscores a huge life lesson for anyone on planet earth.

Finding Your Future

A main point of catharsis in Good Will Hunting is the point, near the ending, where Will finally learns to accept responsibility for his choices, and chooses his future. The pathos exuded by this film is tremendous, as we go through Will’s evolvement from street punk-tortured genius to a young man on his way to brighter things. Can one really watch this movie and not feel inspired?

This post is a guest post by Melissa Tamura.