There’s a scene in the second Matrix movie where Trinity and Morpheus are trying to escape the bad dudes, having just stolen a very important player from them – the Keymaker.
I don’t have the movie here, so you’ll have to forgive the detail-less account – but they’re in some kind of vehicle, being hounded through the city, and the guys who are after them are a program they’ve never fought before.
It’s getting desperate, and Trinity says: “Don’t go on the highway! Whatever you do, do not get on the highway!”
No one ever explains what’s so awful about the highway, but you know: If they go there, they’re fucked. And then, of course, they go there.
It was so tense to watch, that it took me longer than it should have to realise: They were just driving down a highway. It was no more or less dangerous than any regular high-speed chase, but it felt absolutely critical.
All because Trinity told me – she drew a line in the sand.
It’s so simple, but I can’t wait to use it. Set up a boundary that cannot be crossed, no matter what – and then cross it.
(Oh – and make sure there are consequences, otherwise that’s just cheating.)