“Bruce … don’t be afraid”… one of the many stupid scenes in Batman Begins; just before his final breath, Thomas Wayne tries to calm Bruce down when he is shitting himself in horror. Just imagine, being 8 years old and witnessing both your parents gunned down in a dark alley and everyone keeps preaching that it’s alright. Which part of watching your parents getting shot is “alright” you fucking assholes? Do you know how many therapy sessions it would take to reframe this experience? Either that or joining a cult to fight crime, latter sounds intriguing. Not to digress from the topic, Thomas Wayne is the biggest asshole of all; I mean why would you even take your son to a loud frightening opera show when he is still petrified from his bat experience? Your son has endless nightmares and wakes up in pain, and you decide to encourage him to face his fears by scaring him. You know what, let’s pretend that you did a good job; would you please explain, when your son cries that he is uncomfortable with the show, why would you decide to take the back door to a dark alley in the middle of the fucking night rather than the front entrance? For a rich sophisticated philanthropist, the level of stupidity just doesn’t add up. Anyways don’t get me wrong, shockingly this movie has many beautiful scenes and dialogues that outweighs the dumb ones. For instance, one of my favorites is Albert portraying as a guardian angel and reminding Bruce – with his cool British accent – of his father by questioning: “why do we fall Master Wayne?” A very good question perfectly placed in the movie when Bruce is at his lowest possible moment. There isn’t a right or wrong answer considering your perspectives in life. I am sure Thomas Wayne couldn’t think of anything better to say when he was busy dying, but he had planted a seed in Bruce at a very young age with: “So that we can learn to pick ourselves up”. You have every reason to blame your parents for not feeding you with wisdom if you are not a handsome vigilante fighting crime dressed as a fucking bat.
It took me awhile to understand and implement this way of thinking in my life. Not fighting crime in bat costume, but reframing my fuck ups. I didn’t know anything about epigenetics, brain plasticity, the 10,000 golden hour, or Ray Dalio’s equation of pain + reflection = progress. Even if we are well aware that Rome wasn’t built in a day, it is difficult to remind ourselves not to be discouraged when falling face down. Just the other day I failed my second motor cycling test and I was calling myself all kinds of names throughout my way back home. Some may argue that it’s ineffective to bully yourself when you are down, but I say go for it as long as it doesn’t lead to fear (fear of failure, rejection, or even trying). On the contrary, I think bullying yourself shows that you care and are disappointed with your performance. Sometimes when I think about it, however, I am questioned whether my disappointments are derived from high expectations. It can be thought provoking but I highly doubt it since me bullying myself is usually when I am feeling weak, blaming, procrastinating, or making repetitive mistakes. Allow me to repeat just so that we are on the same page, this practice is only effective if it serves you to improve.
Another vivid example of my victim mentality: I used to play table tennis when I was very young. Regardless of how good I was, I wouldn’t compete unless I was 100% sure that I would win. I dodged many competitions, opponents, and was comfortable practicing for hours rather than challenging myself. This way of thinking, unfortunately, didn’t stop with sports and once my brain realized that there is an easier way out, I would make excuses or victimize myself in every “tough” situation. One day you are dodging a competition, and the next you are talking yourself out of asking your crush out. It fucking never stops. I still get triggered at times and curse the ether when I fail at a task, but I am learning to recognize the poisonous pattern and reframe the experience as a lesson. Evolution has stood the test of time and we encounter it on daily basis that it’s not the strongest that survive, but the one that adapts to its environment. If you know that you are weak, then you are one step ahead knowing what you lack is strength. Okay, I am weak, what’s next? How to get strong? If you don’t know the answer, then I advise you to search the greatest portable library in your pocket. Take out your phone and Google it. Do you have to learn mixed martial arts, strengthen your mind, or lift weights? Explore different territories and practice until you find your answer. This is bonus: you are not special and your problems are not unique. The chances of not having a blueprint to your problem is highly improbable. If you didn’t know that you are not the center of attention and the world doesn’t revolve around you, then it’s about damn time. What comes next is similar to brushing your teeth. It never ends until you die. To paraphrase it, you will succeed as long as you don’t quit. Experience, fail, reflect, and evolve. There is no end to how long you should practice, and you need to reframe your perspective if you are looking for a stop sign. Bottom line is, you are either busy living or dying. It’s up to you to decide.
One last Batman reference which is relevant to our evolution process, you don’t want a nagging judgmental friend like Rachel constantly bitching about you and your lifestyle. She wasn’t even helping or guiding Bruce towards how to give back to the community. It’s unfortunate that she had the best line in the movie: “It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you”. Honestly speaking Rachel, how is your Yoda speech going to impact your friend if you think that he is a rich playboy enjoying his luxurious lifestyle? In case you have one of these “friends” around, try to stay away as much as possible. Try to stay away from anything that doesn’t guide you and instead judges you for your conditioned behavior. You already have enough shit in your life, you don’t need another.
Before I leave you in peace, do yourself a favor and question “Why do we fall”? If your automatic answer is that because you are a fucking loser, then you may be correct; but that shouldn’t stop you. You can be a fucking loser for now and focus on becoming the baddest motherfucker out there. I cannot promise that you will succeed, but I can sure guarantee that it will never happen if you don’t try. Better order that Batman suit to cover the bruises at least, perhaps we can start our own league of shadows and fall together.