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31 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Robin Williams’ Movies

31 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Robin Williams’ Movies

Robin Williams lived out loud as a messenger. Robin’s movies are filled with life lessons and profound wisdom. They made our hearts skip a few beats. They made us think. And even though he was just an actor playing his part, each one of us felt as if he was speaking directly to us when he delivered his lines. His words came from the depths of his soul, jumped out of the screen and went straight into our souls. His roles were unforgettable like memories from a family scrapbook. Although he was here on this planet for too short a time, he was here to teach us. Why was he so powerful making us cry from laughing so hard or crying so hard? Maybe it’s because we knew that he wasn’t acting at all.

1. Popeye

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    “Even though you’re bigger than me, you can’t win, ’cause you’re bad, and the good always wins over the bad.” Lesson: Believe in goodness. It can conquer over anything.

    2. The World According to Garp

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      Remember, Helen.

      What, my love?

      Everything.

      Lesson: Too often, you focus only on the bad and forget the good times. Remember everything.

      3. Moscow on the Hudson

       

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        “This is a free country, welcome to almost anyone. Yes, in America almost anything is possible.

        ” Lesson: Appreciate your freedom.

        4. Awakenings

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          “What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we’d forgotten – the simplest things.

          Lesson: The human spirit should not be forgotten. Simple things matter the most.

          5. Good Morning Vietnam

          GoodMorningVietnam_image

            Good Morning Vietnam: Goooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test. This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the delta to the DMZ.

            Lesson: In the midst of scariest times (even war); a positive attitude, humor, and sharing laughter can get you through the day.

            6. The Adventures of Baron Munchausan

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              “Because I’m tired of the world and the world is evidently tired of me. Why! Because it’s all logic and reason now. Science, progress, laws of hydraulics, laws of social dynamics, laws of this, that, and the other. No place for three-legged cyclops in the South Seas. No place for cucumber trees and oceans of wine. No place for me.”

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              Lesson: Everyone doesn’t fit into the same mold. You must find a place for your creativity to run free.

              7. Dead Poet’s Society (This entire movie is one huge life lesson.)

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                “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you…. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” And the human race is filled with passion… O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

                Lesson: Every person has the potential for greatness. Be extraordinary. Make an impact on the world. Do something meaningful. Leave your mark.

                8. Good Will Hunting

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                  “But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feelin’ like God put an angel on Earth just for you, who could rescue you from the depths of hell. —And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her there forever. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.

                  Lesson: True love is being vulnerable enough to love someone more than you love yourself. 

                  9. Dead Again

                  DeadAgain image

                    “You take what you’ve learned from this life and use it in the next. That’s karma.”

                    Lesson: Learn from your mistakes. What you give out, comes back to you.

                    10. Aladdin

                    Aladdin-aladdin-16708450-958-602

                      “But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need?” To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.

                      Lesson: Freedom comes from living your truth. Be your own master.

                      11. The Fisher King

                      the-fisher-king

                        One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a simple-minded fool, he didn’t see a king. He only saw a man alone in pain. He asked the king, “What ails you friend?” The king replied, “I’m thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat”. So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the Holy Grail which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, “How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?” The fool replied, “I don’t know. I only knew that you were thirsty.”

                        Lesson: See a person as another human being without judgment. Do not treat people according to their job or role in life.

                        12. Hook

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                          Granny Wendy: So… your adventures are over. Peter: Oh, no. To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure.

                          Lesson: Life is an adventure. Live it to the fullest.

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                          13. Toys

                          FILM 'TOYS' BY BARRY LEVINSON

                            In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “We are toys of tolerance, but there’s only so much that a toy can tolerate.”

                            Lesson: Accept that life becomes intolerable sometimes but continue to push through it.

                            14. Mrs. Doubtfire

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                              There are all sorts of different families, Katie. But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right… bye-bye.

                              Lesson: No matter what type of family you come from as long as there is love, everything will eventually turn out alright.

                              15. Being Human

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                                There’s never enough time. No time to stop and think, “What have I learned?” Try to stay in control. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Is this the same for everyone? Are we all doing this to one another? This bickering and mocking? Can it be better than this? We’re all in it together, making the same mistakes, getting into the same jams, having lousy Fridays over and over and over and over and over…

                                Lesson: Everyone is struggling to get through life. Become compassionate. Stop fighting and start learning how to make life better.

                                16. Jumanji

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                                  “Twenty-six years buried in the deepest darkest jungle, and I still became my father.”

                                  Lesson: Free yourself from the pain of your past or you may become a person you don’t want to be.

                                  17. The Birdcage

                                   

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                                    “Yes, I wear foundation. Yes, I live with a man. Yes, I’m a middle-aged fag. But I know who I am, Val. It took me twenty years to get here, and I’m not gonna let some idiot senator destroy that.”

                                    Lesson: Be yourself and don’t let anyone take that from you.

                                    18. Jack

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                                      “Have you ever seen a shooting star, Jack? It’s wonderful. It passes quickly, but while it’s here it just lights up the whole sky – it’s the most beautiful thing you’d ever want to see. So beautiful that the other stars stop and watch. You almost never see one. Because they’re very rare. But I saw one. I did. Jack: I just want to be a regular star. Lawrence: Jack, you’ll never be regular. You’re spectacular. Jack: What do I want to be when I grow up? Alive.”

                                      Lesson: Light up the sky. Be your spectacular self. Live your life to the fullest.

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                                      19. Father’s Day

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                                        “For years I’ve thought about killing myself. It’s the only thing that kept me going.”

                                        Lesson:  Sometimes you become attached to your sadness, that it becomes all you think about.

                                        20. Deconstructing Harry

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                                          “All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we choose to distort it.”

                                          Lesson: You have the power to choose your perspective.

                                          21. What Dreams May Come

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                                            “That’s when I realized I’m part of the problem. Not because I remind you. But because I couldn’t join you. So I left you alone. Don’t give up, okay?”

                                            Lesson: It’s easy to become part of someone else’s problems, fearing that if you leave them, they might give up.

                                            22. Patch Adams

                                            Robin Williams In 'Patch Adams'
                                              “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome 

                                              Lesson: If you treat a person as a human being and not focus on their problems, flaws, burdens, or illness, even if things don’t turn out great, you made an impact on someone else’s soul.

                                              23. Jakob the Liar

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                                                “Hunger for hope may be worse than hunger for food.”

                                                Lesson: There is nothing worse than living without hope.

                                                24. Bicentennial Man

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                                                  “I try to make sense of things. Which is why, I guess, I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.”

                                                  Lesson: Every person has a purpose. Find yours.

                                                  25. A.I.

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                                                    “Come away O human child / To the waters and the wild / With a fairy hand in hand / For the world’s more full of weeping / Than you can understand.”

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                                                    Lesson: Don’t be afraid to experience all of life. Lessons, clarity and understanding come from pain.

                                                    26. One Hour Photo

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                                                      “The shutter is clicked. The flash goes off and they’ve stopped time, as if just for the blink of an eye.” Lesson: Memories stop the clock. In a split second, moments last a lifetime.

                                                      27. Insomnia

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                                                        “You’re a good man. I know that. Even if you’ve forgotten it.”

                                                        Lesson: Other people can see the good that you can not see in yourself.

                                                        28. Night at the Museum

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                                                          “Some men are born great; others have greatness thrust upon them.”

                                                          Lesson: Some people are born with special talents, gifts, and abilities. Even if you are not born with greatness, great things can happen to you.

                                                          29. Death to Smoochy

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                                                            Friends come in all sizes/ One might say grasp while the other says snatch/Size doesn’t matter/ When you want some friendly patter/ From a pal who is true/ And will lift you up when you’re blue/ You can count on him/ He can count on you/ It’s true/Friends come in all sizes!/Yes, they do!

                                                            Lesson: A true friend is someone you can count on. Nothing else matters.

                                                            30. August Rush

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                                                              “What do you want to be in the world? I mean the whole world. What do you want to be? Close your eyes and think about that.”

                                                              Lesson: What do you want to be? Think about that. Become it.

                                                              31. World’s Greatest Dad

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                                                                “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

                                                                Lesson: Reach deeper into someone’s soul. Connect with them. Let them feel your presence. Tell them you love them and show them how much you care.

                                                                Not only were there profound lessons in his roles but ironically, they were all too prophetic. Robin Williams left us with messages, memories, and movies that will live on. He will be there for us whenever we feel dark and alone. All we have to do is just turn on movie and listen to the lessons he wanted us to learn.

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                                                                Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                                                                What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                                                                What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                                                                When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                                                                Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                                                                It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                                                                While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                                                                Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                                                                What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                                                                How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                                                                It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                                                                People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                                                                “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                                                                In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                                                                Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                                                                As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                                                                When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                                                                It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                                                                What are Interpersonal Skills?

                                                                Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                                                                In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                                                                From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                                                                For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                                                                Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                                                                How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                                                                There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                                                                There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                                                                Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                                                                I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                                                                Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                                                                “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                                                                Don’t overlook introspection.

                                                                While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                                                                Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                                                                When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                                                                Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                                                                “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                                                                The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                                                                Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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