What’s your word?

Erikjan Lantink
3 min readDec 8, 2023

Italy. India. Indonesia (Bali).

No, those are not my holiday destinations for 2024. They’re also not countries where my latest clients have their headquarters (I wish).

Do you know what these three have in common, except that all three start with the letter I?

Hint: all three countries play a role in one movie.

The movie’s title is “Eat. Pray. Love,” and it stars Julie Roberts, who is on a journey to discover herself after a few relational mishaps.

The movie is based on a book that is a true life story.

We watched it last weekend because we were in Bali recently and thought it would be nice to see the movie (again).

Although I don’t recall seeing it before.

Anyway, there’s a story in almost everything I see, hear, or do, and this movie had two moments worth remembering.

The first is a quote.

“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”

This quote is at the essence of all change.

If there’s no ruin, there’s no transformation.

If you want to see things change, find your ruin. Find your burning platform. Without a burning platform, people won’t move.

This is a mistake many leaders make. They want to see change, but they need help to make it clear to the masses why change is necessary.

The second moment was when an old medicine man, Kutuk, asked Julia Robert’s character what her one word was to describe who she was.

Who are you? In one word.

She answered that she was a writer.

“I’m not asking you what you do; I’m asking you who you are,” Kutuk replies.

She has no answer.

Do you have an answer to this question?

The movie character does not find her one-word Italian answer until the last shot in the movie.

“Attraversiamo.” “Crossing over.”

“Who are you,” is a fantastic question.

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Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)