Why Do We Want to Be Jason Bourne?

Updated: Jan 17


It's about life apart from usual.

DURING OUR AFTER-CHRISTMAS FAMILY TIME AND NEW YEAR PLANNING RETREAT (check out my post “Seeing What Others Miss” for more about how we do such things),

one of our less productive activities was to watch all four Jason Bourne movies starring

Matt Damon.


A Great ID-a


The Bourne character is based on books by Robert Ludlum (one of my all-time favorite novelists!), and you may know about Jason. He’s the CIA black ops operative who's gone off the tracks. After getting shot during a mission, he ends up with amnesia.


In movie #1, The Bourne Identity, the assassin begins a manic quest to re-discover who he is. Along the way, we see a man skilled in a nearly super-human array of hand-to-hand fighting ability, high-speed driving techniques, shooting proficiency, technological acumen, and sheer brilliance at out-witting anybody on the lookout for him.


According to Wikipedia, the four Bourne movies have grossed more than $1.6 billion, which is to say that Jason’s story has been extremely popular.

Watching again to stay motivated toward Different. (Photo credit: JESHOOTS.com from Pexels.)

I’ve watched the series more than once (an understatement), and always get to a point after an interval of not watching when I’m ready to see Bourne in action again. But why?


I’ve thought a lot about why Bourne is so appealing, and I think it has to do with his experience of the world we live in.


Bourne’s life runs parallel to normal life.


He understands society and knows how to work it for his ends while remaining outside the main flow.


Bourne makes things happen inside normal life that benefit him. For instance, when a low-level CIA employee from the American embassy in Naples, Italy confronts Bourne (in the exact way Bourne wants to draw him into the confrontation), Bourne overpowers the normal guy and gets away in the man’s car.


Your Own Version of Bourne


Bourne’s aggressive commitment to his mission fuels the journey to recover his identity. He wants it bad enough to do what he must to succeed.


There’s something in Bourne’s technique of leveraging normal life for "outside" ends that we can learn from.


  • To earn a living outside the usual approach, for example, you can use “normal life”—those who work the standard 8 to 5 job—to support your Different lifestyle through freelance work.

  • Or you could start a business specifically to serve other people in their jobs. I know some folks whose family-run, all-natural farm supplies local, health-conscious restaurants with essentials for their menus.*

  • Or how about homeschooling your kids, so you can take advantage of off-season travel benefits for field trips that also happen to be way-cool fun?


Jason Bourne watches other people go about their daily lives,

then does whatever he needs to do, regardless.


That’s the spirit of Different.


It doesn’t mean being antagonistic, hostile, or condescending toward “normal” life. You can simply accept normal for what it is, be happy for those who want to do it, and then go live however you want instead.


It just might be the way you get born into your own identity.

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*If you live in Middle Tennessee and want to partake of some excellent non-GMO foods, check out the Taylor Family Farm.


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