The 15 Life Lessons We Learned From 'Billy Madison'


Okay, you caught me! I know I said I don't like slapstick comedy in #4 of my Elite Daily Post about “Downton Abbey,” but I forgot to mention the one and only exception: Adam Sandler. My friends and I have been following his career since the very beginning of his “SNL” days.

We can recite each dialogue from all of his movies and even describe what the irrelevant background characters are doing in every scene. We also know the secret connections between each of his movies that only true fans have noticed. Excessive…I know!

I like to believe some of Sandler's best movies came before Happy Madison Productions. Do you remember “Coneheads”? No? Well I'm sure everyone has seen “Big Daddy,” “The Wedding Singer,” and America's favorite mama's boy, “The Waterboy.” Yet, how about “Happy Gilmore” and my personal favorite movie of all time, “Billy Madison”? (In case you didn't notice, a hybrid of these two films makes up the name of his production company.)

If it were up to me, watching “Billy Madison” would be the formal initiation into the Generation-Y community. You have not truly lived without watching this film. Although I do admit this movie was not intended to be educational, the accidentally placed lessons I have learned are endless.

With great difficulty, I have tried to shorten the list. After you're done reading, I urge you to watch the movie (with your brain left at home). When you have accomplished this task, please watch “8 Crazy Nights.” (I just want some reassurance that my friends and I are not the only crazy people who love this movie!) Let us begin.

1. Imagine freely.

Imagination is the essence of creativity. Since life is but an illusion, release your anxiety and imagine freely.

2. Reflect routinely.

There will always be people who disagree with you. It is important to reflect and debate your opinions wisely.

3. Take risks.

You won't always know the right answer, but you need to be daring and take risks. The outcome might not be as planned, but at least you tried.

4. Respect everyone.

Each person spends their downtime in different ways. It is not our place to judge. We need to be respectful of everyone's right to privacy.

5. Think differently.

Great and successful businesses don't start with reiterations of existing concepts. Think outside of the box.

6. Never bully.

I am a woman of many talents (modest much?), yet still I will always meet people who more accomplished than I. They are my encouragement. Likewise, when meeting someone who is weaker than you at a certain skill, you must help that person. Making fun or bullying anyone is not an option.

7. Keep learning.

There are so many little fun facts we learned in elementary school that we have forgotten over the years. I used to be able to recite every country and capital at age 10. I'm too scared to even try now. Keep learning and refreshing your memory even if it might be difficult.

8. Analyze consequences.

If you lie, it will procure consequences. Analyze the scenario prior to getting yourself stuck in a sticky situation.

9. Love unconditionally.

If you love and care for someone, you have to have his or her back no matter what. Unconditional love means constantly putting yourself in compromising situations.

10. Give thanks.

If someone goes out of his or her way to go the extra mile just for you, be grateful. Enjoy the small delights of life wholeheartedly and give thanks.

11. Crack jokes.

Life is too long and it can get dull. So add some humor to your life and constantly crack jokes at the serious stuff.

12. Face fears.

A day will come when you will have to explore the world all on your own. You will have to greet new and mysterious experiences without fear. Therefore, treasure and enjoy the present as much as you can and be ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

13. Always apologize.

If you are in the wrong, apologize. Even if years have passed, it is the right thing to do.

14. Accept faults.

The first step in receiving therapy is admitting you have a problem. Accept your faults. That is the only way you can improve.

15. Value criticism.

Since we all admit we have faults, we must agree we are not perfect specimens. So when someone gives you constructive criticism, value it and apply it.


16. Be prepared.

Expect the unexpected. If you are prepared, you will always be ahead of the game. Thus, always carry gum.

Top Photo Courtesy: Popwatch