Sunday, July 01, 2007
Tip#68: Why Do We Fall? - Batman Begins
There are times in life when traumatic experiences come full circle. And if you are lucky the circle is ending on a positive note transforming your previous pain. It's like getting a second chance to accomplish something you once thought you failed at. The irony is that it was never a failure. It was a necessary fall to take.
In the previous tip I wrote about giving a successful presentation to over 500 kids at a public school recently. That presentation marked my coming full circle with another presentation 4 years prior that left me feeling like a failure. It was my first large group keynote and a first for a diverse age range of junior kindergarten kids up to grade 7.
It was a 30 minute talk on 'Finding Your Gifts' and I just felt I could have done a much better job. Even the Principle wasn't enthusiastic about what I had done. That affected me deeply. Looking back I was much harder on myself since 3 of my friends were there and said I did a good job inspiring the kids. I just couldn't help but feel I fell flat on my face into mud.
Batman Begins (2005)
The superhero film, Batman Begins, stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman. This story explores more of the origins of Batman and explained more of his childhood. Bruce's father is seen telling him at the beginning....
"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
Young Bruce went through many traumatic events in his childhood. He had fallen down an abandoned shaft breaking his leg and later witnessed the murder of both his parents. Despite these devastating experiences he learned to pick himself up every time. Later in the film when Batman is battered and broken his butler, Alfred reminds Bruce of the wise words his father imparted to him. Bruce then picks himself up and finishes his work as a superhero.
So every time we fall we are in training to learn how to pick ourselves up again. We are training ourselves to be resilient. It is part of our life plans to experience failures. Here are some famous examples:
* Charles Schulz was told by his high school yearbook staff that his cartoons were not acceptable for the annual. But he kept on drawing and eventually became known internationally for his comic strip 'Peanuts'.
* Babe Ruth had more strikeouts than any other baseball player of his time. He also had the most home runs.
* Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded and founded the Ford Motor Company.
* J.K. Rowling was broke, a single mother going through a divorce and got rejected 10 times before her first book found a publisher. She learned to pick herself up after each rejection and now Harry Potter has become a massive cultural phenomenon and financial success.
And so 4 years after I gave my first school assembly presentation I knew now I could do much better with my return to another school assembly. My self-confidence was radiating because over the years I had "learned to pick myself up". I had been in training to improve myself with dozens of motivational talks and workshops now under my belt. I was motivated from my fall to become the best speaker possible.
Remember to celebrate your own falls that appear to be failures. Be optimistic and see the learning when you feel you've fallen flat on your face. Realize that by being on the ground you are given a unique perspective than where you were once standing. See that you are in training to improve your skills, strengths and resilience.
And if you feel you are alone in your fallen situations think again. Remember there are failure stories behind all great successful people around the world. Be inspired by their stories and pick yourself up!
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."
Thomas Edison, Inventor
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007