Still 5 more Lessons of Wisdom from the Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior doesn’t seem to stop amazing me everytime I watch it. Depending on what state of mind you are in, this movie presents you different insights from the wonderful dialogue delivery and scenes depicted in the movie. For me, this movie is much more than just a movie, it is a piece of art – a wonderfully scripted and executed version of the book – The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Start Looking Inside for Answers
Traditionally we have always looked for answers to our questions in the outside world. We do so by seeking knowledge, advice, different tools, technologies and products from the outside world. But after a momentarily phase of satisfaction, we tend to come to the same questions sooner or later. This movie, at various different points, depicts that the answers to the most difficult of our questions actually lie inside, which is very difficult and confronting for most of us to believe. But if we start seeking inside and getting present to everything in a totally new way, we can be amazed by the things we discover. I guess this power we get from the inside is the same stuff highlighted by different religions and philosophers and spiritual leaders, albeit in very different ways.

Keep a Good Sense of Humor about Ourself
A wonderful strength to have is to keep a good sense of humor, especially about ourselves. Many times we end up taking our lives too seriously in the quest of goals and achievements, and miss a lot of fun and happiness in the process. Having a good sense of humor about ourselves certainly helps take things lightly and not let them become stress or tension. If we can laugh at ourselves, we can blunt out the edges of jokes targeted at us, and everyone can have some good fun. Life is too short to take yourself too seriously, and if you can be the reason for some good laughs, you should be proud you are proving helpful in providing others a few moments of happiness.

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him. —Thomas Szasz

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him. —Thomas Szasz

If you Get what you Want, You Suffer. If you Don’t, you still Suffer
The biggest lie we say to ourselves is – “If I get this result, or achieve that goal, I will be happy.” When we tie our happiness to the outcome of our goals, like most humans do, we suffer when we don’t get what we want. But even if we get what we want, we still suffer, because then there are bigger goals and milestones waiting as time moves on. Time doesn’t stop at the instant where we won something and are jubilant, and since time always moves on, we can’t hold on to that victory. The whole cycle repeats itself over and over again.

Life is beautiful in its surprises and unpredictability. We can never predict what is going to happen or not, but if we tie ourselves to ONE goal or result, we will miss all other unexpected results and joys life will throw in the way. Being in a space of being ‘not sure‘ what to find will allow us to welcome everything that comes our way. And this is a fact, whether we accept it or not. It is true that we will never have control over what happens to us in the future. It is the JOURNEY what brings us happiness, not the DESTINATION.

Life is about Absolute Vulnerability
This movie depicts wonderfully that true courage lies not in victory or perfection, but in absolute vulnerability. The ability to step out of our comfort zones and get into zones where we are fully vulnerable will decide how alive we feel in every moment. It is also very often called as ‘living on the edge‘ when we are aware of every step and every breath we take with our full attention without letting the unnecessary clutter of the past and the future getting in the way. And it needs courage to live life like that, and can lead to a truly amazing experience of life, rather than just living for results and achievements.

There is No Starting or Stopping, Only Doing
When Socrates asks Dan to resume his training after the accident, Dan had no clue how was that even possible, or where to start? To this Socrates said, “There is no starting or stopping, only doing.” The only thing we have, and will always have, is “right now“. Everything else we think we have or aspire to have is just an illusion. Right NOW, this moment is the only reality, and in this reality there is no starting or stopping, but only doing. If we can pay all attention to our doing and throw out everything else in our mind, we can achieve a new level of performance in what we are actually doing and will most likely end up producing amazing results.

Five more lessons from Peaceful Warrior

As I wrote in my previous article on Peaceful Warrior and the lessons from it, I watch this movie quite often. It tend to dissolve my doubts and questions and give me a new insight every time I watch it. And there is a lot more to learn from this movie than what I wrote in that article. Hence in this article I am penning down five more lessons to be learnt from it.

Knowledge and Wisdom

One of the most important phrases in Peaceful Warrior is “Knowledge is knowing, wisdom is doing it“. It highlights that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. We might have all the knowledge in the world, but it is only worth if we apply it in the real world. And that is wisdom. Most of us know exercising is good for health, smoking is bad for health, and so on. But how many of us apply this knowledge into actions. We can learn and gather knowledge, but the same is not true for wisdom. Wisdom is for the soul whereas knowledge is for the mind.

Be Here, and experience This Moment fully NOW

Be Here, and experience this Moment fully NOW

Learn to Meditate in Every Action

This movie depicts that a Peaceful Warrior learns to meditate in every action of his day to day life. Meditation is not really about going to the Himalayas and sitting in peace but learning to fully experience each and every moment of our busy and turbulent lives. Meditating in this way helps us to slow down the pace of our life while being able to fully experience the love and joy in the smallest of things, like the sound of birds, the different smells around us, or the different people we see.

Not knowing is a Great Realization

In the movie, Nick Nolte says that not knowing is a great realization. It is a very ambiguous statement but at the same time, very powerful. There will be times in our lives when we will not know what is happening or which direction our life is heading. This ‘not knowing‘ phase is perfectly ok to be in, and it is during this phase that we often make great discoveries about our life and its purpose. There is a popular quote by Joseph Campbell which sums up this point wonderfully well, “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

Live and Decide Consciously 

Many of the times, we live on auto-pilot. We normally take our decisions based on some set rules or customs and rarely use our rational mind. We must always be conscious about our choices and then responsible for the consequences. We are very good at taking a decision because of the norm and then blaming the norms when things didn’t go well. When we take a decision, we must be brave enough to own its outcomes, both positive or negative. And we must really strive to make each decision we take our ‘own‘.

Life is a Mystery, Dont Waste Time Trying to Figure it Out

Nick Nolte says in the movie, “The mind is just a reflex organ. It reacts to everything. Fills your head with millions of random thoughts a day. None of those thoughts reveal any more about you than a freckle does at the end of your nose.” It might look like a simple statement, but it has a very deep message too. That we are not our thoughts. Our mind is always filled with guilt about some past mistake, blame for others or just worries about the past or the future. But realizing that this is not us but only a function of our mind can give all of us freedom.

Now that I look at what I have written, I think I can write down even five more lessons (or words of insight) from this movie. But I will leave it to another time and article. You will certainly have to watch this movie multiple times to discover the different hidden messages in the words of Nick Nolte. Everytime I watch it, I get something new based on what my mindset and life situation is at that time.

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.