I recently re-watched the movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, and I have to say, it is by far one of my favorite movies to date. The uses of symbolism is what makes this film easy to relate to and resonate with on a deeper level.
If you know me well, you know that I like to extract lessons from practically anything and if it’s good enough, share it with my community. So, here are 3 lessons that stuck with me:
“No one cared who I was, until I put on the mask”
Every morning when I leave the apartment and make my way to work, I observe the people that walk near me, past me, and the looks on their faces. Seldom do I find someone smiling, who is happy going to work, or to be alive for that matter. In comparison, people who do well in life i.e. succeed, figure out a way to avoid being mediocre – living a complacent/common life. Successful people make a conscious decision to put on a ‘mask’ that’s unique to them, that unleashes their inner strength, and allows them to amplify their full potential. The remaining masses also make a decision, and go on living the rest of their life being average, pushed around by the currents of societal pressures, like a lost fish at sea.
This ‘mask’ could be anything, it could symbolize your career (what you’ve done and are doing), your character (how you behave), your value (what you have to offer), your leadership (setting a positive example for others to follow), etc. The point is, do something or be someone that people take notice of, care about, and respect because you’ve made the decision to play a role in leaving the world better than the way you found it.
“You do not fear death. You think this makes you stronger. It makes you weak.”
Many people are alive, but they are not living. Often, it is our environment, circumstance, situation, or experience that leaves us feeling sad, hurt, angry, depressed, where we forget that time is not on our side. We wake up every morning and navigate through our daily routines as if though we’ll have another crack at life, like immortals with no end date.
I often make reference to the fact that on average, we have 28,000 days on earth, because by breaking down something so large, it helps put it in perspective. Using this hypothetical equation for the sake of getting my point across, it would mean that I, as a 23 year old, have about 20,000 days left. Why is that relevant? Because being reminded of my approximate due date helps me cherish every moment, value time with my family/friends, and live every day as if it were my last.
By fearing death, you will be stronger, because you’ll begin to focus on the things that matter, disregard the things that don’t, and optimize the little time you have been given to do great things for this world.
“Then make the climb. As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.”
One of my favorite parts in the movie was when Bruce Wayne was trying to escape the prison. To do so, he would have to climb up to a certain height and make a long-distance jump from one ledge to another. He would tie a rope to his waist and make the climb up, attempt the jump, but fail to make it to the other end. He would try again, and again, but he always failed. He then asks an old wise man, who was also a prisoner, how he should attempt this impossible task. The old man looks at Bruce and says: “As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.”
The point here is that Bruce wasn’t afraid of dying because he was tied to the rope, and if he missed the ledge, there would be no consequence – he can just try again, and again. To overcome his lack of fear, the wise man asked Bruce to attempt the jump without the rope, ensuring that when he goes for the jump, he’ll have to do it like his life depended on it (literally).
From now on, when you attempt something no matter how big or small, whether it’s for the first time or something you’ve already done, give it your all, give it 120% of your effort, and do it like your life depends on it – or don’t do it at all.