Today I watched a film on Netflix called Stutz, which was directed by Jonah Hill. This is a documentary of Jonah and his relationship with his therapist, Dr. Phil Stutz, who has provided Jonah and other patients with some key tools to navigate through life. In fact, these tools ended up being helpful enough that I realized I needed to start taking notes, which I did.
The relationship between Dr. Stutz and Jonah is one of the critical reasons to watch this documentary. They start off rather stiff with one another and then after a while, all pretense falls away and there they are agreeing to not be afraid to show their vulnerability to each other and to the viewers. Not only is this a disarming moment, but it is also instructive. One of Dr. Stutz’s basic messages is that you can’t move forward without being vulnerable. When you allow yourself to show others that you are imperfect, you are basically saying to the world, “I need you because I can’t do this by myself.”
Another of Dr. Stutz’s tools is to recognize that working on one’s “Life Force” will immediately move you forward on your journey. He said that at the bottom of the Life Force triangle is your body. When you find yourself stumbling emotionally, focus first on helping your body by eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. He said this will quickly make you feel better and provide motivation. Second, reconnect with people who are good for you so that you have support. Only then are you ready to work on self, which is at the top of the triangle. He has many tools that are explained during the film which help to establish a positive approach to self-exploration
He also emphasizes that are three aspects of reality: pain, uncertainty, and constant work that are givens in life and that true confidence is when you feel uncertain and move forward anyway. His philosophy is based on the belief of embracing imperfection and facing each small action in life with the thought, “I will do the best I can and go to the next thing and do the best I can there too.”
He believes that we all have what he calls Part X, which is basically that undermining voice (the internal critic) that keeps you from taking necessary risks. He offers suggestions on how to effectively talk to that voice so that you can move forward and not get paralyzed by fear.
That is a tiny bit of the method that Dr, Stutz has developed over forty years as a psychiatrist. He is suffering from Parkinson’s, which adds another bit of poignancy to his interaction with Jonah. At 74, Dr. Stutz clearly knows that he may not have lots of extra time to share his behavioral approach with the world. Jonah’s motivation to make this film was to help get Dr. Stutz’s message out since the tools he has offered have made a major positive impact on Jonah’s life.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants some down-to-earth information on better navigating through life. Be sure and have a notepad and pen ready. I believe you’ll find them helpful.
Here is the trailer for the film.