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What I Learned From Batman

What I Learned From Batman


    With the upcoming release of the new Christopher Nolan movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you what I learned from Batman.

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    I’ll start with a brief introduction of Bruce Wayne, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the comic books or — in this case — Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. Bruce Wayne was a young boy when his parents were murdered in front of him. Due to this horrible tragedy, Bruce experiences a psychological trauma. As Bruce grows up, he learns to bury his hate and guilt of his parents murder inside as he leaves Gotham City. As he grows up and finishes his education, Bruce spends a year investigating the minds of the underworld. After he becomes “truly lost”, a man named Henry Ducard promises to help him find his path in life. Bruce, eager to learn, is led to a remote village located somewhere in the Himalayas, where he trains several martial arts with ‘the League of Shadows’. It is here that he is taught three of the most important lessons.

    The first lesson is that willpower is more important than training. One must possess a strong will in order to achieve something truly great. The second lesson he is taught is that in order to achieve something truly great, he must devote himself to an ideal. If he can do so, he would become more than just a man; he would become a legend. The third lesson he is taught is that in order to manipulate the fears of others, he must master his own. After training for several years, he returns to Gotham with one goal in mind: to fight the means to end injustice.

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    As a man, Bruce would be corruptible and put the lives of his loved ones in risk. As a symbol, he would be incorruptible. He chooses the bat as a way to embrace his fear and share his dread with his enemies. He uses his wealth to hide suspicion of his identity as Batman.

    This is only a brief summary from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” movie. The Batman portrayed in graphic novels is a much more complex character. There are many things I learned from Bruce Wayne, but it all comes down to three:

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    1. The first thing Bruce Wayne taught me that is that, in order to achieve anything in life, you must be willing to sacrifice. Bruce Wayne sacrificed his wealth and trained several years to fight injustice. He sacrificed love in fear of putting his loved ones at risk. He did all this knowing he would never get recognition for his actions. It’s easy to make choices with no consequences, and harder to make choices knowing that one wrong move can put the lives of your loved ones at risk.
    2. The second thing Bruce Wayne taught me is that fear is inevitable. Everyone is afraid. All creatures fear. Even the mighty Batman is afraid. He’s afraid of putting his loved ones in risk, not just bats. We’re all afraid, but the real test is going on with our lives despite the fear. Bruce struggled making choices that would harm either one of his personalities as Bruce Wayne and Batman. He embraced his fears and made his enemies share his dread. He made fear his friend.
    3. The third thing Bruce Wayne taught me is that struggle is a part of our daily lives, and just like fear, it is inevitable. Bruce Wayne may not come from Krypton, have the ability to fly or have any mutational superpowers, but at the end of the day, he’s a hero. Bruce Wayne is an average man just like you and me. His heart can be broken. He struggles like many people do. He struggles in making choices that are good for him and what’s good for Batman. He struggles with his true identity. Is his true face that of Bruce Wayne the billionaire playboy, or a vigilante who fights injustice? We all struggle with our identity. We create different identities for our parents, friends and coworkers. You don’t know need superpowers to become a hero; what you need is discipline and the willpower.

    I believe we can all strive to be Batman in our own ways.

    To me, Batman is something more than a fictional character from graphic novels. He represents the good and the evil in all of us; the constant struggle we each face in our daily lives, the fear we hide deep within. But most of all he represents hope. My favorite quote from “Batman Begins” is:

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    “It’s not who you are from the inside, but what you do that defines you.”

    Batman might have been a pyshological wreck from the inside, but it was ultimately what he did that defined him. He went through the tragedy of his parents death, which could have destroyed his life. Instead, he devoted himself to an ideal…and truly become a legend.

    (Photo credit: Batman Stamp via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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