“What About Bob?” (1991) was a hilarious movie to me as a 16yr old teenager. It’s even funnier to me now at 43. In the movie Bob (Bill Murray) gets given a book written by his psychiatrist Dr. Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) called “Baby Steps” (a book that I, and surely many wish actually existed!).
Bob: Baby Steps?
Dr. Marvin: It means setting small reasonable goals for yourself one day at a time. One tiny step at a time. Baby steps.
Bob: Baby steps.
Dr. Marvin: For instance, um… when you leave this office, don’t think about everything you have to do in order to get out of the building, just think to what you must do to get out of this room, and when you get to the hall, deal with that hall, and so forth… you see? Baby steps!
A lack of any kinda of consistent pattern in how I lived my life for a few years eventuated in 6 solid months of smoking an ounce of weed a week, not getting off the couch, not eating right and most important of all, not sleeping well. The lack of sleep made me crazy. It all became obvious to me when I was watching serial killer documentaries; all these guys were pretty normal until they didn’t sleep for 3 days, and that’s what I believe drove them mad enough to go through with their evil plans.
Impatience is a curse.
Wanting to hurry things up once you’ve had enough of feeling sorry for yourself and thinking too big isn’t great when you’re down, as the last thing you want to do is disappoint yourself even more. When I was at my worse I couldn’t even get up off the couch to piss in the bathroom (I’d piss in a mountain dew bottle instead), people were suggesting I get back on the bike, or go for a swim at the rock pool, but they didn’t understand that those most mundane every day things were the hardest things to do.
Taking a deep breath is a small step. It’s amazing how the small tiny little steps have been massive for me lately. It’s like when Dad died, he just had complications on top of complications until he was, well… dead, but man if he was to have had any tiny little baby step forward, we would have taken it, no matter how small a step, as it might just have been the sign we needed to turn the tide.
I’m in a really good place right now, and I’m already starting to develop some big plans. I feel I’ve gotten back on track by A) getting some sleep and B) setting myself up with some very small goals which I’ve absolutely smashed out of the park.
Comedy or not; “What About Bob?” made an impact on me as a teen, and the simple concept of “Baby Steps” is one that I will for sure utilise from time to time in future.