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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 February 15, 2019

    Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

    Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

    In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

    And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

    Why is goal setting important?

    1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

    Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

    For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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    Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

    After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

    So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

    2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

    The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

    The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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    We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

    What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

    3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

    We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

    Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

    But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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    What you truly want and need

    Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

    Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

    Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

    When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

    Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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    Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

    Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

    Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

    The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

    It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

    Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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