5 Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life

There are a few movies which you can watch any number of times. Groundhog Day and Peaceful Warrior makes the list, as does “It’s a Wonderful Life“, which I watched again yesterday. It is specially good to watch these movies when you are feeling a little low or demotivated. It is a movie about a man’s life, of his struggles with his responsibilities and his dreams. It is full of passion, despair and joy. The last half hour of the movie really touches and moves you and makes you feel grateful for your life. I am going to list out five lessons from it below –

1. Be a hero where you stand

Right from his childhood when he saves his brother, keeping Mr Gower from poisoning a child or helping the local citizens of the town, George Bailey shows how to be a hero in doing the little things. Giving your best to every person and making the best out of any situation is a common trait among all great achievers in history. Whether it is doing a sacrifice for the dreams of your parents, or taking a step back to allow your brother to pursue his dream, this movie shows these acts and their importance in the impact they make on others.

2. Relationships more important than money

This movie amply demonstrates the value of people over money and other material things. Money is only an artificial thing created by us, and it should be used in the welfare and happiness of all, it should never be the reason to hate or disregard someone. George Bailey, the main character in the movie, proves this time and again by giving loans to the needy even if they don’t seem to be able to pay back. If a little money can buy someone happiness, then it should be put to this noble use. Simple.

Our lives are indeed wonderful

Our lives are indeed wonderful

3. Invest in people

We invest in property, companies, stocks and other form of investments with an aim of increasing them over time. But the biggest investment is people. This movie shows that people never forget and are touched if you sincerely help them and care about them. Investing in people is one investment which never goes bad, and it comes back to you many times invested. This is demonstrated in the movie in the way the whole town comes ahead to help George Bailey when he finds himself in a crisis.

4. Fight for what is right

We all have a deep inner voice which always tells us what is right and what is wrong. In our daily lives as we go about taking decisions, we should always pay heed to this inner voice. We should not compromise even if everyone seems to be doing so. Fighting for what we feel is right will lead us to a life filled of happiness and joy. It takes leadership and courage to stand, often alone, for what you feel is right, and that is what distinguishes the hero from the crowd.

5. You are not a failure

No man is a failure who has friends, is the underlying message in the movie. We do a lot of good in this world, and a lot of people are living off better lives because of us. Most of the time we don’t even realize how many people smile daily because of us. So if we ever start to doubt ourselves, we should take a step back and ponder over our lives and see how many lives we have touched. We might have done something which we don’t even recall now, but we should always remember that the good we do during our lifetime can return to us in many unexpected and beautiful ways.

The storyline gives a very clear message and shows the importance of community, love and faith. Each viewer will see some reflection of his life after watching this movie. The Angel Clarence makes George Bailey realise that every human life is precious, and must be cherished. And that each one of us can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

4 Lessons from the movie “Groundhog Day”

There are movies which are good, then there are movies which are wonderful, and there are a few movies which touch and move your soul. You can watch these movies any number of times and find something new each time. These are movies which aren’t just movies, they have deep lessons buried in them, only for the viewer to find out. Some of such movies (on my list) are Groundhog Day, Pursuit of Happyness, Rocky, Peaceful Warrior, etc. Today, let me share with you four lessons I got from watching Groundhog Day. But first, lets recap what happens in the movie.

In the movie, the main character, Phil Connors is trapped in a recurring day β€” a freezing February day in Punxsutawney. The town never changes; the events and the people never change. Only Phil can change. It is impossible for Phil to have any control over the external world. Every morning he wakes up and it’s the same day again. He is compelled to find how best to survive and prosper, and decide if this is a curse or maybe a blessing. Now for the lessons –

Living in the Moment
This movie, more than anything else, shows us how to live ‘every‘ moment of our lives. Living every moment means not worried by what happened in the past neither by what is going to happen in the future. Living in the moment means giving yourself totally to ‘this‘ moment, the ‘only‘ moment you actually have, whether you are doing your job, playing with your kid, or washing dishes. And this movie shows that the same moment keeps repeating unless he totally surrenders to it. In a way, that is true in everybody’s life. Same experiences, of repeating moments kind of get stuck with us unless we surrender to them and “get it“. Totally living every moment of our lives is the ultimate act which will lead us to beyond anything we have ever imagined.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Unconditional love and compassion for ourself and others
When Phil ‘got it‘ and started to live his never-ending day as the best he can, he starts giving his unconditional love and compassion to himself and to others around him. He didn’t bother to see people as friends or strangers, good or bad, and so on. What he realizes that while whatever he ‘actually’ wanted and have been striving for all these years have never given him the kind of happiness living one day out of compassion and love has given him. Similarly, in life, we too often tie our efforts with results. We say “I will put in more effort if you pay me more”, “I will help you if you help me” or “I don’t trust you because you don’t deserve it”. All our actions are driven by some past results or future expectations. When we learn to give our love unconditionally to others “now“, without waiting for the right moment, we will realize, like Phil did, that the life we were waiting for all this time will actually come and knock at our doors.

You have to change your view about the world, not the world itself
What has been shown so beautifully in this movie is that every day, the world is exactly the same. The only difference that is there is because of Phil’s own actions, because his own actions are the only thing he has control over. If we pause to look at our lives, every day is not ‘literally’ the same, but it is almost the same day after day. The only thing that can change is our views about the world, how we look at it and how we act. Groundhog Day shows how we can all change the world outside into a wonderful one, by just changing our thoughts and attitudes. Inner change is the key to happiness and personal growth and this movie is the best example of this.

We all live like Phil’s first Groundhog Day
In the movie, when Phil lived through his first Groundhog Day, he was just waiting for the day to get over. He was tired, indifferent, angry, and bored at different times. If we look at our lives, that is how we live. We wait for something to happen, a new job, or an important milestone or goal in work, thinking at after that life will be happy and fulfilling. But in doing so, we miss the current moment. Any happiness we tie to some goal or moment will give us some satisfaction for a few days at best, then we come again to the same phase, busy for the next goal. Going from destination to destination but missing the journey in the process.

5 of my Favorite Movies with Lessons

Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa

1. Rocky Series

The perfect dose of motivation! After watching the Rocky series, you will be pumping with adrenaline and willing to do everything for which you once thought you were not good enough. Such is the impact of Rocky. The Rocky theme song is my alarm tone and it has helped me get up early in the morning since a long time now. And everytime you are down, just watch these movies and you will be back. And the way Sylvester Stallone came back to deliver a stunning sixth movie in the series, it looks like he lives the character he plays in Rocky. It makes you believe in yourselves. These are the movies you want to show to your kids, friends, your parents… those you love. Worthwhile for people of all ages.

2. Remember the Titans
Denzel Washington packs in a powerful performance in this story of integration of white and black players in TC Williams High School Football team amidst racism in the 70s. The fact that it is based on a true story gives more reasons why it must be on your must watch-list. Great, great film with great dialogues and performance from others too, apart from Denzel. It is a story about how we can overcome our differences and rise together for the larger cause. This is the movie you want to watch if you want to feel motivated and feel better about the world.

3. GroundHog Day
Sometimes it takes us a supernatural experience to realise how we should live our lives. This movie shows how Bill Murray is forced to take a relook at his attitude towards life after being caught in a time warp. This movie is not only funny but also ends with a moral. It shows us how we should be really living our lives. Infact, most of us just pass through live, with only a few of us “living” it. Giving your best to everybody and making the best out of every situation without getting caught up in trivial matters is the essence of this movie. Life is meant to be explored and not to be feared of. People are meant to be loved. We can see any situation as a disappointment or as an opportunity to give our best of the world. Everytime your mind is working overtime to find out the solutions to life, just watch this movie!

4. The Pursuit of Happyness
This is one movie which will help you keep your feet on the ground. The story of how a man passes through difficult circumstances, both financially and personally, to pursue a dream job just shows what we can achieve only if we have complete belief in ourselves. Will Smith packs in a powerfull performance, maybe his best! This movie shows that if you earn success overcoming a lot of hardships and challenges, its taste is all the more sweeter. And this movie shows that no-one can stop you from doing something if you “really” decide to do it. Through our will power, the biggest mountains can be moved. So the take away from this movie should be – Find your Dream, and go all out in pursuing it. There will be obstacles along the way, but enjoy them rather than regret them. And don’t let the talks of others worry you, because you know, when you succeed, it will be sweet πŸ™‚

5. Gandhi
The story of a man who needs no introduction. But his story is not about the way he evicted the Britishers without force or violence. His story is the conquest of the human mind over the many insecurities we face in life. It is the story of self discipline and courage under pressure. It is the story of sticking to what you believe in, in the face of fear, intimidation and violence. It is about how a man developed a unquestionable character and integrity. Gandhi stood and fought for the truth and truth only, and never against British. All his actions, movements and satyagrahas were inspired by his unwavering belief in the principle of truth. Read his autobiography “My Experiments with Truth” to know more about the amazing man and his thoughts, that are still as much valid as a century ago.