"The Matrix", a 1999 film; inspired my great interest in the study of consciousness, mental development, and how emergent technology will impact what it means to be human in the future.
In the film Keanu Reeves portrays Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, who goes by the hacker alias Neo, is led to fight an underground war against powerful computers who have constructed his entire reality with a system called the Matrix.
You can’t do it until you believe it
One of the key lesson from the matrix is that you can’t be something until you believe you can.
Throughout the film, Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) is trying to change Neo’s (Keanu Reeves) limiting beliefs about the Matrix and himself being “The One”. As Neo’s beliefs change he begins to start accessing more of his abilities. It wasn’t until he believed he was “The One” that he started acting like “The One”.
Your beliefs about yourself and the world dictate your behavior. They act like self-fulfilling prophecies. If you don’t believe you can do something you will not take enough action, and thus you fail to achieve what you believe you couldn’t do. In my experience, it is not about capabilities of a person, but the determination to do so.
The world as you perceive it isn’t real. It’s just your perception.
In the film, the Matrix was a computer-generated dream world that would hijack a person’s mind while the machines were using their bodies as batteries. It was only when Neo was awoken to the truth that he was able to see what he once considered real was all, in fact, a computer program.
Similarly, your perception of the world is based on your beliefs and you act in accordance with your beliefs. What’s important to realize is that your beliefs are only true for you. It is a reality for you, but not actual reality. Your reality exists only in your mind.
Everyone else has their own unique beliefs and perceptions and is experiencing a completely different reality.
Change your perceptions and change your world.
Learning fast is a superpower
If you’ve seen the film then I’m sure one of your favorite scenes is when Neo learns Kung Fu within minutes by having the program uploaded into his mind. This highlights another important lesson from The Matrix which is that learning fast is a superpower.
Today this is one of the most valuable skills you can have. While not everyone has a photographic memory like Elon Musk, speed reading might be a skill worth learning.
In fact, simply making a habit of reading daily will set you apart from the rest. Reading allows you to learn fast because you can literally stand on the shoulders of giants. Reading allows you to learn in a few hours what it has taken some of the greatest individuals in history a lifetime to learn.
Always choose truth over convenience (take the red pill)
The scene where Neo is offered a choice of the blue pill or the red bill is one of the most famous scenes in the film.
Taking the red pill means adopting the beliefs, making the choices or consuming the information that allows you to see the world as it really is even though you would feel safer or happier if you did not.
It’s about doing the right thing over the easy thing. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and it’s about going through the pain that sometimes accompanies new growth. It’s only by doing these things that you can take your life to new heights.