Get busy living or get busy dying

If you have cable television you have probably run across the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  The movie is about a guy who is charged with murdering his wife and her lover.  Which in this case, he really didn’t do it.  Andy, played by Tim Robbins who is the banker charged with the murder becomes really good friends with a group of guys in prison.  One of those guys is “Red” played by Morgan Freeman.

Since I don’t want to ruin the movie for you if you haven’t seen it, (which would totally surprise me if you haven’t seen it), I wont tell you how it ends.  I would encourage you to watch it.

In this scene Andy says to “Red” “Get busy living or get busy dying”.  Now keep in mind these people are in prison and when Andy says this, Red is beside himself saying we are in prison, what are you talking about.

I have seen this movie many times since it was first released.  This morning as I was running for some reason this quote was on my mind.

For me at times I feel like I am so busy being busy that I wonder if I am truly living?  Do you ever feel this way?  Are you just getting through the day or are you getting from the day?  Are you designing the life you want to live or are you constrained to live the life and do the work that others want you to live?  Does your work matter?

My goal today, is to do the things I have to do as quickly as possible so I can start doing the things I want to do.  Sure these could be remedial tiny tasks, or things that are part of my job and responsibilities.  However, I am thinking bigger picture than this.  I am going to push everything that average people do out of my life.  I am going to follow a path that is less followed.  The things we have to do are what you think they are.  Get up, go to work, pay the mortgage, cut the grass, clean the house, complete the project, get the job done.  These are all things I have to do, but my goal is to get to the point where I only do what I want to do.

Today get busy living or get busy dying, but I would challenge you to get closer to living the life you want to live and just like in the scene with Andy and Red, ignore the ones who doubt you.

More resources over at

To your success and your future.






3 responses to “Get busy living or get busy dying”

  1. Greg Avatar

    Brian, I started reading when I met you a couple of months ago when My sister in law gain a Carnerie Course from NASHMBA. I like your way and I would like to do the same for my Spanish Speakers Comunity. I woul like to meet with you againg to talk about all the ideas I have.


    1. bwillett555 Avatar

      Thanks Greg. Go to my website and send me information so we can connect.

  2. Diana Quartey Avatar

    Great post! I’ve never watched the movie but the quote is so fitting to the point you so clearly emphasize. Very inspiring!

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