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Lessons From Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins

James Huang | 2021.01.16

Batman is the most iconic, and also the most complex superheroes of all the time. The quality which separates the Batman from the other superheroes is that beneath that cape and the suit, he is just a man, like you and me. Batman has trained himself for a long period of time to acquire the knowledge, the fighting skills, the mental and physical strength to fight against the injustice. Though being a billionaire definitely helps in having the armor, those fancy gadgets, the weapons, the Batpod, the Batplane and other things which requires money power. However, this is in stark contrast with other superheroes who got their superpowers due to various reasons like their extra-terrestrial origin (Superman), some accident (Hulk), experiments (Captain America) or genetic mutations (Spiderman, X-Men).

The reason Batman feels more real and inspiring is that despite all his money, strength and, gadgets, he is still vulnerable like any other human being. He can be killed by a gunshot or a knife, unlike other superheroes who are immortal. It is easy to be brave when you know that you can't be killed by bullets, grenades, rockets, knives etc., but Batman still puts his life at risk to fight against evil, while facing the fear of his mortality like us.

The psychology of Batman is very intriguing and complex. Bruce Wayne as a child lost his parents at a young age. He witnessed the cold-blooded murder of his parents. Such traumatic event at a tender age can have serious psychological effects. He could have taken the path of substance abuse or alcohol to numb his pain but instead, he chose a completely different path. 

Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale redefined the Batman for us, by giving him a darker shade and built the character on complex layers of psychology. As I grew up, I tried to understand the Dark Knight at more deeper levels. For me, the Dark Knight trilogy was not just for pure entertainment but something spiritual, something which resonated with my conscience at deeper levels. Not only the Batman has inspired me in various ways but also helped me to become a better man. 

To become a better version of yourself, you have to go out of your comfort zone.

To become the Batman, Bruce Wayne has to leave all his comforts and privilege. He explored the world to gain knowledge and relevant skills to make himself capable of fighting against the crime. Similarly, you can transform yourself by pushing your physical and mental limits. You can evolve by exposing yourself to different culture and ideas. Knowledge in a variety of domains and critical thinking can help us to grow intellectually.

Organizations Need To Be Built Around Ideas, Not People

In Batman Begins, one key aspect of Bruce Wayne's desire to become Batman is so that he can be a symbol of something. A beacon of hope so that people can aspire to do better. People who build great organizations and companies are often larger-than-life. They drive their businesses forward with their energy and passion. But one problem that such organizations face is that when they become completely identified with a single person, their fortunes can rise and fall based on what that one person does.

You can see two diametrically opposed versions of this with two companies associated with the late Steve Jobs, Apple and Pixar. Apple is indelibly associated with Steve Jobs. He built the company with Steve Wozniak, and most of the companies products were based on one vision: his. After Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, the company did enjoy some success - notably in the late 80s and early 90s, but the company floundered again until Jobs returned to the top spot in 1997. After that, Apple began its ascent to tech industry heights, largely driven by Steve Jobs' vision for consumer products. As a result, Apple thrived, but also became synonymous with Jobs. Since Jobs passed away last year, many analysts see the company as floundering, with our own Anthony Kosner accusing the once innovative company as "playing it safe."

By contrast, Pixar was also a company largely driven by Steve Jobs, who served as its Chairman of the Board and later its CEO. But while Apple was driven by Jobs' vision for consumer products, Pixar was driven by an ethos of storytelling. That ethos is strongly held by the animators and writers of Pixar movies, who are committed to the high level of quality that have given the company enormous critical and commercial success. After Jobs' departure from Pixar, the company remained strong, pushing out some of its best movies such as Up and Wall-E. By building on an ideal of strong storytelling, rather than one man's vision, Pixar has built an enduring brand.

Actions Speak Louder than Intentions

Bruce Wayne tries to open up to Rachel by telling her how he is different from the image he projects that of a spoilt & self-entitled Playboy Billionaire. However, Rachel quickly teaches him about the importance of one’s action. She tells him that one’s actions define himself or herself, rather than his/her intentions.

You have the best of intentions, the best of hopes, the best of wishes, and the best of dreams. But none of it matters unless you do something.

Are you a good person? Do you consider yourself to be a hard worker? It doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do.

Yes, your actions do speak louder than your words.

You are unemployed. Don’t waste your energy fretting over how things suck. Instead, do something about it. Update your resume and start applying for jobs. Talk to everyone in your network and ask them for suggestions. Go out to events, job fairs, breakfast meetings. Put yourself out there.

You are ambitious. and you want that promotion. Good !! that’s a good start. But how do you manifest that?  Go speak to your boss or mentor and ask them for their suggestions. Tell them about your intentions. Most people are more than willing to guide you.

You want to be the best at what you do. And you want companies to start knocking on your doors to offer you the best career option. It’s possible. But get to work. Sharpen your skills. Learn more. Become sharper. Do whatever it takes. The more good you become at your job. The more confident you become, and the more opportunities you open for yourself.

What do you think about this movie?  Share with us!

Lessons From Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins
MERCURY TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION, James Huang 16 January, 2021
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