5 Lessons from the movie Jab We Met

Jab We Met is a break from the normal movies we get year after year. It is a refreshing take on love and how to live life powered by sparkling performances by Shahid and Kareena. I think this is the best role Kareena has ever portrayed, and that has breathed life into the movie. Jab We Met is not only entertaining, it also has deep lessons about how to live our lives and has close resemblance to many of the problems we face in our daily lives and how we react to them. It is cute yet sensible, stupid yet enjoyable, and silly yet leaves a impression on you.

It is a break from vulgarity, senseless comedies and rona-dhona type movies that we are being fed these days, and some scenes and dialogues are just superb. This movie appealed to movie goers of all age groups and left a deep impression on many of them. Many of my friends (and I myself) have watched it multiple times. Like I have done with Peaceful Warrior and GroundHog Day, I am listing 5 big takeaways from Jab We Met…

Choose your decisions

Many times it happens that some decisions are forced upon us, or we are obliged to take them either to look good, or just to follow some norms or patterns. What this movie shows is how important it is to ‘choose‘ and accept these decisions at ours and devote ourselves and our energy fully into it. There is no point in doing something half heartedly only because that ‘you were pushed into it‘. Give yourself fully to what you are doing, or don’t do it at all. Period

Every decision has a consequence, accept that

Every decision you take (or choose not to take) will have its consequences. They could be good in case of success or bad (unexpected) in case of failures or unforeseen circumstances. We should always take full responsibility of our actions, whether positive or negative, and never run away from them. Running away is never a solution, like our adorable couple finds out in the movie. And accepting negative results doesn’t mean feeling sorry or guilty about that, it means learning our lessons and moving on with living life. Every moment spent repenting a past mistake is another mistake. So take full responsibility of your actions, and continue moving ahead and doing what you do best.

Enjoy every moment

I see life as one short journey on this earth, which has a start and an end. And we don’t know when the end will happen. So there is no point dying before the end (as Shahid Kapoor was shown living in the beginning of the movie). We all have only limited moments, and life is too short to waste even one moment on any kind of negative emotion like hate, guilt or anger. Kareena’s role in the first half of the movie is the best example of ‘Enjoying Every Moment‘ philosophy. She does what she likes to do, and in her own way. It might make her look stupid (being a complete chatterbox) sometimes, but who cares, as she is enjoying every moment and having real fun in life. I remember one dialogue – “Main Apni Favorite Hoo” (I am my favorite) which is the perfect example of loving yourself.

Don't PASS through life, LIVE it

Don't PASS through life, LIVE it

Enjoy Loving Someone

When you love someone, it is not always necessary that they love you back. But if you turn off your love because of it, then I guess it was not even love in the first place. You can still enjoy loving the other person and doing / giving your best. Shahid Kapoor’s role in the movie is ample demonstration of that. After all, what could be better than seeing the one you love happy. They might not love you back, but that’s okay, as everyone is not so lucky. But that is no reason to stop loving someone and being deprived of that wonderful feeling. If you feel that it is not easy, then you just have to get bigger than your fears, insecurities and selfishness.

Don’t just PASS through life, LIVE it

Life will pass by even if we don’t do anything. We can either PASS through a smooth plane ride, or we can go out, take risks, breathe fully, maybe get some injuries in the process, and have one hell of a ride. Do what you LOVE, or don’t do it at all. Don’t say YES when you mean NO. Don’t do something and dream something else. I call this self-torture. Don’t put yourself to living this life of torture. I will summarize this point and end by this quote –

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!

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!!

Lessons from the movie “Peaceful Warrior”

Peaceful Warrior is one of the most simple movie with a lot of deep lessons in it. It is based on the book “The way of the Peaceful Warrior” (buy from Flipkart or Amazon) by Dan Millman and recollects his story as an athlete. Nick Nolte gives one of his best performance ever in the movie. After watching this movie, you will get the feeling of wanting to enjoy every moment, something which we don’t feel very often. This movie will leave you thinking about how you run your lives, and if you are open to these lessons, you will get a lot more than just inspiration from this movie. Some of the most important lessons I learned from this movie are listed below –

No Ordinary Moments

There are no ordinary moments in life. Every moment is special, and it is your choice to make the best of it or let it go. The movie also has a quote that “There is never nothing going on“, which signifies the fact that there is always a lot going on around you, and in each moment actually lies our life. Moment after moment, that is how life passes by, and the only moment we have is this one, and this one, and so on. So it tells you to experience every moment by being fully engaged in that moment.

A Warrior Acts, Only a Fool Reacts

Life presents us with many different people and situations, and there is only thing we can control about it – our response. Work on mastering your response to different situations. Don’t let other people and situations decide how you react and feel. Be aware of your emotions, of love, hatred, frustration when they come, but rise over them, and respond in a way you want to, rather than reacting in impulse at that moment and regretting later on.

Where are you?  Here, What time is it?  Now,  What are you?  This moment

Where are you? Here, What time is it? Now, What are you? This moment

Take out the Trash

We all need to take out the trash which is in our mind. Trash refers to everything which you don’t need or which is not in the current moment. It might be doubt about your abilities, fear from your past failures, worries about the future, and so on. All this trash keeps you from doing the only thing that matters which is focussing on the current moment. The current moment is the only moment you have, and all past and future thoughts in our mind are trash.

You will Never be Better, Neither be any Less

You will never be better than anybody else, and in the same way you will never be any less. Irrespective of the kind of lives you live, practices you follow, or whatever you do or don’t do, there is no higher ground where you stand compared to others. Treating every other human being with respect and compassion shows more about you than the other person. The same way you are also not less than anybody else, not based on money, resources, thought or anything else.

Service is the Highest Purpose

Service to others is the highest purpose in life. There is no greater thing to do in life than to serve or help others. Service means unselfish kindness without expecting anything in return. We all have various talents and skills, and it is our obligation to use them to teach others and serve them. Service to others gives meaning to your life. Everybody’s life has a purpose, and you will find your purpose in service. Service to something bigger than yourselves.

This is one of the best movies I have watched, and I watch it often when I feel confused or I know I am not living in the present. And believe me, every time I get something new out of watching it. There are a lot of important lessons to be learnt from this movie, and I will be writing another post soon to cover those.

Five life lessons from the movie Fight Club

Fight Club is one hell of a movie. It not only has a gripping story, but also contains many life lessons hidden in the story. If you have not yet watched the movie, stop reading this article and go watch it..

Fight Club contains great messages about life and its never ending desires. It tells you to live a life without fear and distractions. It is certainly one of my favorite movies for many reasons. Here are five top life lessons one can learn from this movie –

1. You are the cause, not the fault
Whatever happens in your life, it is no accident. You are at the cause of it, and not at fault. There is no point blaming yourself or anybody else or any situation for your life. It takes a moment to take a decision, to take responsibility of your life and start working towards what is important to you. You can sit around and do nothing and cry about how you have no power, or go out in the world, and start making a difference. You might not have control over the situation, but you always have control over how you react to it, and that is the only thing that matters.

I say never be complete.  I say stop being perfect.  I say let's evolve.  Let the chips fall where they may

I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let's evolve. Let the chips fall where they may

2. Get rid of fear, doubt, ifs and buts
Whenever you decide to do something, you will always find excuses if you want to. There will always be ifs and buts, and fear of stepping into the unknown. Get rid of these doubts, overcome fear and keep a clear focus as Tyler Durden does in the movie and get it done. Whether you want to get a new job, or start a new business, or remove hunger and poverty from the world, you will face challenges. The only way you can overcome them is to have a strong will, ability to persuade others to your cause and to stay on target despite all problems which life throws at you.

3. Best time of life is when you live in the NOW
Life is ending one minute at a time. Either you can ponder, worry over the past and the future, or you can choose to live in the NOW. Believe it or not, the only moment you have is this one, and this one, and this one. This is how life passes by when we are busy making big plans for it. Start enjoying the small things in each moment. Hear the drops of rain falling on the floor, let the smell of the wet mud capture you, feel and cherish as you see people smile and laugh, listen to the birds perching, and so on. You are going to die one day. Don’t wait for someday to start living life, instead do amazing things right now.

4. Do something for someone else
There is a scene in the movie where Tyler Durden takes a young store clerk behind the store and puts a gun to his head.  He scares the shit out of the young guy, then he asks him what he wants to do with his life.  He ends up saying that he would like to be a veterinarian.  Tyler then tells him he is keeping his license and he is going to check in on the young man, if he isn’t on his way to becoming a veterinarian in a few weeks… Tyler will kill him.  A bit drastic agreed, but as Tyler Durden explains… ”Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted. ”  We should try to have an impact on someone else’s life.  And believe me, if feels awesome when you do so.

5. Materialism is a trap
To be truly happy you don’t need more stuff, you build what people or nature can’t take away from you. Stuff like knowledge, memories and inner strength. Hanging in hip cafes smoking cigarettes doesn’t make you creative. Your job, the money in your bank, the car you drive doesn’t define you. You are defined by what you accomplish and create. I am not saying give up everything you have. But I am saying don’t let your stuff own you so that they don’t allow you to live the life you want to.

Five Lessons from the movie “Chak De India”

Sports can often highlight the need for values like teamwork, honesty, transparency similar to the way these values are needed in life. Sports can end up uniting an otherwise divided crowd cheering for a team. The joy and pride when thousands of people celebrate together, click photographs of the national tricolor flying high after a sports victory is indescribable. Chak De India was one such movie which depicts the values it takes to build a match-winning team and what it takes to achieve something which at one point didn’t seem possible. I will list down five lessons from Chak De India, which are very relevant in the Indian context.

1. We are Indians first
We have to see ourselves as Indians first, above any affiliations with state, caste, language, religion, etc. When we seek to achieve something for India and from a national sense, our affiliations with caste, state, etc will only create divisions and barriers which will hinder our objective. If we have to keep our focus on the goal, we have to remove all other distractions from our mind.

2. Discipline
Discipline is like the spinal column which holds the whole body together. Discipline has to be a component of one’s daily lives in the discharge of one’s duties. It is required at the personal level, then at the level of society and institutions. Discipline is something which unites a country or society. It means waking up on time, not breaking the traffic rules while going to office, treating others with respect and care, and using your words wisely.

There is a lot to learn from Chak De India

There is a lot to learn from Chak De India

3. Play our role
All of us have an individual role to play according to our merits. We might have a larger objective and vision as part of a country, society or team but we will have a very specific role to play for which we are best suited. It is important we focus our total undivided energy in fulfilling this role enthusiastically while keeping the larger picture in mind. If everybody does their own task as it is supposed to be done, all our dreams for our nation will be easily achieved.

4. National Interest over Personal Interest
We have to put the interest of the nation above our personal interests in order to achieve results over a longer period of time. We will have to overcome our ego and personal biases if we have to achieve something for the nation. We have a limited time on earth, but the nation will outlive us, and we have to see that our actions fulfill this vision even after we are gone.

5. Short Term vs Long Term
It is very important to see how our actions are important in the long term too. We might have to take some steps, which don’t look so fruitful in the short term but are valuable in the long term. In other words, we will have to make some short term sacrifices for long term glory. Long term values like patience, loyalty, trust, credibility and honesty are very important in this regard.