Friday, November 26, 2010

The Peaceful Warrior

I had seen the movie ‘The Peaceful Warrior’ last year and had been planning to share the learning's from the movie. But due to foreseen circumstances (laziness & procrastination), finally the post gets to see the day-light of the blog world. To put the movie ‘Peaceful Warrior’ in context, it’s a movie which touches you on an emotional chord and changes you forever. It is based on the real life story of a university student as well as a local gymnast who dreams of winning the National Championship competition. The story is about a guy (Dan Millman) going about his daily life chores but has psychological restlessness. It is at this point of time that he meets a old man at a car service station who seems to understand his problems more than he does & seems to be enigmatic. He calls the old man Socrates (never discovers the true identity of Socrates in the movie).

The reason why I liked the movie is its simplicity & subtlety in delivering the message. I wont recount the entire movie here but will just share 3 main learning's from the movie. (There are quite an innumerable learning's in the movie, but in order not to make the article too boring, I will restrict myself to 3) :)

The first important learning is the fact that we become too accustomed with our daily life that we forget to cherish the things around us. We get focused on minute details and start bothering about it, completely forgetting the fact that there is so much wonderful happening around us. There comes a point in the movie, when Dan comes running to Socrates for a meeting and suggests keeping it short. Socrates throws him over the bridge. When Dan asks why he did it, Socrates replies “I emptied your mind”. Dan replies that you are out of your mind, for which Socrates replies ‘Took a lot of my time to do that”. He continues that “You aren’t paying attention to what’s happening now”. Dan says that there is nothing going on, for which Socrates makes him see the small things like a bug moving on a plant, a dog running after a ball, two lovers kissing and a person reading a book. Each of these actions indicate & are full of life, vitality which Dan never notices. Socrates then tells “There is never nothing going on. Take out the trash from your mind. A trash is anything which keeps you away from this moment”.

The second important learning from the movie was about finding one’s purpose. Dan gets excited about the capabilities of Socrates and asks him to train him too. Socrates initially trains him on minor things like washing the car, cleaning floor which upsets Dan. He thinks he is wasting his time doing trivial things. He leaves Socrates saying that he knows how to achieve what he wants. Then one day, he meets with an accident, which leaves a bone shattered in his leg, making him bed ridden. The docs say that he can’t ever get back to Gymnastics. Dan is too shattered in life when he meets Socrates and breaks down before him. Socrates tells him that “Everything has a purpose in life and this too has a purpose. One just has to find it.” He then prepares Dan for a new level of training, before which he asks Dan to tell him something of value. Dan spends the night outside thinking of different wise sayings which Socrates just avoids. Finally in the morning, he sees a couple walking into the shop. Just before they enter the shop they kiss each other. Dan notices then, in that moment the simple act of kissing was such a great moment by itself. He then realizes the ultimate truth which Socrates had been trying to make him realize: “There are no ordinary moment”.

The final important aspect of the movie which I really loved was the climax part wherein Dan and his teammates are about to compete in the Olympic trials selection. By then, Dan had made a remarkable comeback and impresses everyone with his exceptional gymnastic skills. One of his teammates ask him to rub some of his magic on him. Dan replies that “it’s not any magic but about removing the trash from our mind and think about the move when performing. Not about the gold, the fame and what happens next”. His friend still doesn’t understands this and emphasizes that it is about the gold and goes onto say that he gets the gold, his father, friends will be proud of him and that his life will change because of that, which will make him happy. Dan realizes that the same lines he had once said to Socrates. His trial performance comes up and he goes onto execute a flawless, perfect gymnastics leaving everyone spell bounded. While performing, he speaks to himself as if answering Socrates and which captures the essence of the whole movie:

Socrates: Where are you
Dan: Here

Socrates: What time is it

Socrates: What are you?
Dan: This moment

This movie is sure to change your life if you follow the principles outlined in the movie. It is certainly a life touching & enriching movie. Watch the movie for more inspiration :)

May the power be with you.


Pree said...

Awesome..will c the movie for sure.. as ur narration has inspired me to c... :)

Aragorn said...

@Preeti: Thanks Preeti for your comment as well as your determination to see t movie :)