The Biggest Takeaway From Breaking Bad

the biggest takeaway from breaking badBreaking Bad was one of my favorite television shows and I enjoyed the story-line of Walter White who was the main character and part of his story is the biggest takeaway from Breaking Bad…

One would not typically associate this show with life changing insights or lessons, but the biggest takeaway from Breaking Bad that I gleaned from watching it has had a huge impact on me and is something that I think about every day.

The premise of Walter White’s story is that he was a high school chemistry teacher who was struggling financially as well as having a recent diagnosis of lung cancer. To make extra money he used his knowledge and expertise as a chemist and began to make methamphetamine. The entire series then focuses on his rise to power and influence in that “industry.”

The Biggest Takeaway From Breaking Bad

But it isn’t that part of the story that intrigues me or even what I focus on. It’s what Walter did earlier in life and a decision that he made, the reasons of which the viewer is never clear on, and the impacts it had on his life that in the end put him on his final destructive path and ultimately leading to his death.

Early in Walter’s life he was part of a small three-person start-up company called Gray Matter. Gray matter was named such because of Walter’s last name, White, and his partner Elliot’s last name Schwartz, which in German means Black. White and Black make Gray, so that is what they named the company.

Then for some reason Walter left the company and allowed himself to be bought out for $5000. He walked away. Gray matter went on to become a multi-billion dollar corporation, Elliot became fabulously wealthy, and Walt went on to struggle through his life. I can only speculate why Walter walked way, maybe it was frustration, maybe it was he lost faith, or he may have just been impatient that the results that he was wanting or expecting were not materializing fast enough. We will never know.

Regardless of the reasons, Walter gave up on Gray Matter, losing a fortune in the process and lived the rest of his life in regret and resentment over it.

And that is the lesson… Never sell out in the short-term for money or even out of frustration if there is even the hint of a greater payday down the road. Don’t make a rash decision in haste to hit the door and leave an opportunity that you will come to regret years down the line. Most enterprises, and this is especially true for small businesses, are frustrating, messy, inefficient and cumbersome at the start and though the temptation to leave may be great, think of what you could be walking away from in the long run and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

That is my biggest takeaway from Breaking Bad, right there… Don’t pull a Walter White and give up just because it is easy or convenient. Stick it out! Look at the long game and consider what there is to both lose and gain instead.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten – 17 June 2015 – Me, not Walter White, working on a nano technology project last summer.

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