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4 Life lessons from Indiana Jones

We all love a good movie don’t we. It doesn’t matter how old a movie is, if it has a great story, it is worth a re-watch every now and then.

In the story telling of great movies there are valuable life lessons hiding amongst all the Hollywood action. So, here are the thoughts I have extracted from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade.

Childhood has a massive effect on our adulthood.

Throughout the film we see the tense relationship between Indiana and his Father. There are also a number of flashbacks if his childhood. On the silver screen as in life our childhood can have a bearing on our lives. Some people have a great childhood and emerge as a well rounded individual. But it can also leave you with a lot of hang-ups.

Recognising your hand-ups where they have come from and making a shift and effort to change these hang-ups can change the total direction of your life. There is a well known quote “your attitude determines your altitude”. This is so true. Sometimes we can have an attitude or mindset which limits us, hinders our progress in life or imposes a ceiling on what we can achieve.

The penitent man will pass.

As Indiana goes through the series of tests in the pursuit to find the holy grail, the first test is a long cave like chamber. The guidance from his Father’s little notebook says “only the penitent man will pass”. Just in time, Indie realises in order to progress he has to be on his knee’s.

It doesn’t matter where you arrive at, you must never forget humility. Whatever level of success you achieve, arrogance or rudeness is never warranted. The famous saying of “what goes up must come down” remember to be humble, gracious and polite on your journey especially if you want those things to be afforded to you.

The leap of faith.

As Indie reaches the void, he recalls that the next tip is to take a leap of faith. All he can see is a long drop in front of him. A leap of faith will cause him to fall to his death if his eyes are to be trusted. He closes his eyes and makes the leap. If you have seen the film you know that there was a walkway there but his angle of view; his perspective prevented him from seeing it.

Our perspective can also prevent us from seeing a way forward. Sometimes the way forward his hidden from us and we have to take that step of faith. Pursuing a new career or doing something new can be terrifying, but it the words of Nike: just do it.

Know your stuff.

As Indie enters the chamber, the final test is a series of chalices. He has to choose the one which Jesus used at the last supper. There was probably a 100 different chalices he could choose from. The right one would provide the drinker with eternal youth, the wrong one would kill the drinker.

The only way Indie could pass this challenge was if he knew his stuff. He had the information and had studied to understand the holy grail in more detail. On face value you would think the holy grail would be a luxurious item decorated with jewels.

But Indie knew better, Jesus was no rich man, the family business was carpentry, the cup would have been a simple object.

Knowing your stuff, researching and studying helps you broaden your capabilities and when the crunch moment comes you can rely on your learning to help you make the right decisions. Much of our fears are based on inaccurate information. False evidence appearing real as they say can only be challenged if you have looked more deeply into the issues and subject. Fear is a powerful self protection mechanism, often it prevents us from harm, but it also dislikes anything with risk. Know your stuff and you can re-educate your fears.

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