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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 September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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