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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 October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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