Do You “Believe Beyond Reason?”

When Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western television series,Firefly,” was cancelled by the Fox network in 2002, the fans of the show were devastated. But Joss told his actors that he wouldn’t give up and that he would find the show a new home.

Eventually, he found that place with Universal Studios in 2005, where they made a feature length movie called Serenity and resurrected the Firefly story.

Joss says about his movie making, “It’s not to make things people like. It’s never to make things people like. It’s only to make things that they love.”

Refusing to Let It Go

What I love about this story (in addition to loving the show unabashedly), is that Joss was so committed to vision and believed in it so much, that he refused to give up. And his fans and cast did too. Joss says about the experience, “[People] fell in love with it a little bit too much to let it go, too much to lay down arms when the battle looked pretty much lost. In Hollywood, people like that are called ‘unrealistic’ … ‘quixotic’ … ‘obsessive’.”

He seems to be totally okay with that. :)

When he presented the first footage of the movie at San Diego Comic Con, he said to the assembled masses of fans, “This movie should not exist. Failed TV shows don’t get made into major motion pictures unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason.”

Isn’t that the most beautiful turn of phrase?

What Do You Believe Beyond Reason?

What are you so ridiculously over the moon about that it makes you giddy just to think about?

The word passion has become so overused in our culture today, I’m not even sure we know what it means anymore.

To most of us it apparently means something like, “What do you think is a realistic way to make money that you would enjoy doing?”

And while that is a useful question when one is paying one’s bills, it is NOT really the same question as “What are you passionate about?”

Seems to me it’s time to change the question.

Let’s start asking, “What do you BELIEVE BEYOND REASON?”

“What do you believe in so deeply, so permanently, so passionately that you can hardly keep yourself in your skin because you are exploding with joy when you consider it?”

“What brings tears to your eyes when you allow yourself to even just consider the possibility that you might be lucky enough to do it for a single minute of your life?”

Do that. And do it as quick as you can.

Because really, why would we do anything else?

Time’s a wastin.’

Watch Joss’ Introduction Here

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.





  1. I loved your Believe Beyond Reason article – the story, the message and so beautifully said.
    It feels wonderful to read a newsletter article that made me happy, and inspired me to keep
    reaching for the stars!! Thank you, Jenna!

  2. Hi Jenna,

    I’m with you that we keep trying to tie passion to what we do for work. For me the passion is the thread of our greatness that weaves it’s way through our lives. Like Believe Beyond Reason.

    Yes, I have believed in several things beyond reason and they were things folks told me that couldn’t be done. That’s how all great things get done. If you look at most everything, at one point someone said it could not be done.

    Most folks believe the lie and give up. It maintains the status quo.

    I’ve done it a handful of times in my town from saving the town hall from a demo when they had the demo scheduled and getting it restored – it can’t be done – that’s not “practical,” to getting my singing voice back after being told I had a serious voice disorder and would be a mute as of five years ago (I sing the best I’ve ever sang!) and am not a mute. To biking across Italy, to stopping other zoning horrors in my town. And now starting my creativity group. I’m looking for a house and am already getting “you’ll never find one that someone will donate to you.” Says, Who?

    We love sci-fi and the supernatural because they seem so other worldly when I believe the world is sci-fi and supernatural and our powers have been diluted to the point we don’t even know we have them. How can anyone look at the earth spinning around the sun or even how our skin heals and not think that is sci-fi?


    • Guilietta, I love your reminder of “Passion is the thread of greatest that weaves it’s way through our lives.” It doesn’t have to “just” be about what we do for work. It can be the driving force behind everything that we do for whatever reason we do it.

      At the end of the video above, Joss says, “We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”

      Your stories remind me of exactly that. You are like a superhero who conquers the impractical and the impossible!

  3. I suppose it depends on which circles one travels in, but I have to disagree with you on the use of the word passion and that it’s over-used to the point of not knowing what it means anymore. In the context of ambitions with a project, it’s the perfect word:
    Passion: –noun
    1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
    Passion is (IMHO) what makes things get done in this era of confusion, atrophy and malaise. Passion is the high-octane fuel that gives birth to projects and keeps them alive, despite the odds of them ever succeeding. Passion is necessary. Joss and his fans had it, or it wouldn’t have been kept alive. Passion is what is motivating people all across our country to take to the streets because they’ve had it with the corporate hijacking of our democracy. Passion fuels change-
    The economy is stagnant. Millions of people are out of work. The housing market is in complete shambles. People are in a state of paralysis. Know what will change it?
    People waking up to the sad state of our government, the sorrowful state of their personal finances, the pitiful way we’ve all been co-opted by a system that was initially intended to keep us ALL moving forward but now serves just a tiny minority. I believe beyond reason in the indomitable spirit of humanity that has the potential to change to course of history. And as soon as people turn off their televisions long enough to recognize just how bad things have gotten, it is their passion coming alive that will right this ship and get it moving again, for the majority of us-

    • yes yes yes! So what is on my mind right now, and reminds me of a favorite quote that keeps this firmly planted in my awareness: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive”. -Howard Thurman

    • Markus, Yes, I agree with you. Passion is a great word in it’s authentic definition. What I mean to say here is that (particularly in the realm of coaching), we often ask our clients, “What are you passionate about?” But the question people usually answer is the one I’ve mentioned in the article. In other words, we FILTER our passions through what we think is reasonable, practical and will pay well. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making — and have made myself — is not looking FIRST at what deeply passionately excites us, even if we think we can’t make a living at it.

      Love your points about PASSION COMING ALIVE being the thing that will change the state of our world. Yes!

  4. What do I believe beyond reason….great question!
    2 things….
    I believe that the Navigating Change work I do to conduct people back to their True, True Self permanently is what I have been born on this planet to do…and yes it brings tears to my eys.
    I believe that I will return to living in England and have my son near by.

  5. Lovely and inspiring. It is such a challenge sometimes to navigate the practicalities of the world while keeping that “belief beyond reason” alive.

  6. Wow, this hit me so hard:

    “What brings tears to your eyes when you allow yourself to even just consider the possibility that you might be lucky enough to do it for a single minute of your life?”
    Do that. And do it as quick as you can.

    I have a vision of something like that, and its so true, it does being me such excitement and joy and move me to years to even think about realizing that dream. It keeps me slowly taking the action steps toward it and the deep joy of it gives me such a quiet patience as I go about the work one step at a time.
    Thank you, Jenna!
    P.S. I am going to go searching now for where I can see this Serenity movie!

  7. So is it ok to still believe I still show this movie and series to people that have not seen it

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