Matt Damon

“Some people get into this business and they’re so afraid to lose anything. They try to protect their position like clinging to a beachhead. These actors end up making really safe choices. I never wanted to go that route. If I go down, I’m going down swinging.”

In light of the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I’d like to dedicate this Sunday Snippet to the people of Boston, their families and their loved ones. There is a reason why the people of Boston have a reputation for being utterly resilient and tenacious. They’re fighters. And I sincerely hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

And with that, I turn to one of Boston’s favorite sons. To be fair, actor Matt Damon wasn’t technically born in Boston proper. He was born across the water in Cambridge, but that’s strictly a technicality. You might know him best for his breakout role in Good Will Hunting, as well as playing action star Jason Bourne or the most important soldier in Saving Private Ryan. He’s had not only a successful career as an actor, producer and screenwriter, but he is also known for his philanthropy and his involvement with charities like and H2O Africa Foundation.

The quote from Matt above really helps to illustrate the Bostonian mindset. The trouble with taking the safe route is that you are setting yourself up for no better than mediocrity. Greatness requires taking great risks, so you really need to cast aside that fear of failure. Just get out there and do what you do best. Face the biggest dog in the yard and you just may surprise yourself… or you might go down swinging. The key is never to give up. Don’t ever give up.

And even when you’ve achieved some success, you still need to take some calculated risks. Clinging to that beachhead means that you will never advance any further. Safe choices don’t safeguard you against monumental failure, but the right risks could lead you to even greater accomplishment. In this way, Matt Damon, much like the people of Boston, always play to win, not simply to last.

You will fall. You will get hurt. You will get scratched, battered and bruised, but the most important thing is to get back on your feet and keep fighting.