Mastery: Cal Newport and Mr. Holland’s Opus

by bxrtley

If you can’t stomach Cal Newport’s “Don’t follow your passion” message, which is backed with significant research and theories like Deliberate Practice, along with daily routines of artists, then watch Mr. Holland’s Opus. It’s an elegant theatrical bridge between fully chucking your passion and being a total sucker for it.

Holland takes his freelance profession of composing music and finds a new “gig” he doesn’t really care about at first. But as hard work and commitment would have it, he ends up turning it into a life-long career. So what of his original music composing ambitions? It didn’t die. It just found a way to exist in the classroom. And in his students. It almost brought tears to my eyes at the very end. If you enjoy music, teaching, the hustle and family, this movie is for you.

“Mr. Holland’s Opus” tells the story of 30 years in the life of a high school music teacher named Glenn Holland, who takes the job in the first place as a temporary measure. His real work, he believes, is to compose music. Teaching is just a way to pay some bills. He realizes only gradually that it is, in fact, his destiny. (Like they say, “What you’re doing instead of your real job IS your real job.”) – Roger Ebert, 3.5 Stars