Today, I have decided to do something that I have not done in a long time and actually write an article rather than let my demons beat me and simply do a review or interview. As much as I love doing them, I simply have struggled in months to write. Instead of facing my demons of feeling inferior and what not, I simply took the easier routes involved with product reviews and interviews – where the focus was on an external source and wasn’t dependant on my taping into the waterfall of creativity I know I have within.
Despite getting great feedback from others about my previous posts, I lost all faith in myself. I believed my articles were not good enough to warrant you to read them, that I was too poor an ‘expert’ to help others with the struggles I was facing and that compared to others I was cheeky to even consider myself a blogger/self development wizard and worthy of your attention.
However, the other day I watched one of my (excuse the awful English structure here) most favourite films of all time, namely ‘The Bourne Identity’. In ‘The Bourne Identity’ the main character Jason Bourne awakes on board a ship after being pulled aboard believed dead. He has no memory of his past, too many questions about who he is and goes on a quest to discover his identity by the few clues he has pieced together since his awakening on the vessel. He quickly encounters enemies in many disguises and must rely almost solely on himself to survive, relearn who he is and figure out why he is being targeted for extermination. Apart from the memory loss, I see a lot of parallels in our everyday lives, we have no idea what we are doing, why things happen to us but we must face each enemy as it comes and try and discover our path in life.
At the moment, I am working seriously hard in my ‘proper’ job. I’m experiencing a mixture of late nights, early starts, multiple demands, trying to build a social life, recover from a recent bout of depression, stay healthy, keep on at the gym and progress and run a household … all on my own. I have really noticed how strong my own self reliance is at the moment. However, I can always take it to the next level and Bourne is the ultimate role model for self reliance.
SO WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT
Film: ‘The Bourne Identity’
Character Focused On: Jason Bourne
Played By: Matt Damon
Want to buy the DVDs: Click the image below
Why is he a good character to look at: Bourne is found afloat in the sea. He has no recollection of who he is and how he got there. He starts the film trying to discover who he is, going on the few clues he has. As he progresses through the film he pieces together what he learns, utilising his skills and seeks answers. I believe that this is a great character to look at because he is the film version of what every man has to do in his life. Each of us begins life with no idea of who we are. We each progress through life trying to discover who we are, using the skills we acquire through life and discover a path for ourselves and leave our marks. Jason Bourne is different to a lot of characters in films as he has to rely almost solely on himself to accomplish his goals. Most other characters can rely on the type of allies that are actually hunting Bourne in ‘The Bourne Identity’. Bourne is a prime example of someone who relies solely on himself to get the job done and is therefore a great role model for us to watch and become like. He is the ultimate man, someone that we wish we could become like but instead we create excuses of why we couldn’t as it’s easier to rely on others for love, money, support etc. By looking at Bourne, I hope to teach how we can use a character like him to relearn how to rely on ourselves to accomplish our mission goals regardless of what they are and who they involve.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR
- Bourne is being chased in the film by ‘mysterious forces’. He doesn’t know who he can trust, who’s an enemy and who is an ally. He has to listen to the voice inside for the majority of the film and work out what is happening by using his own skills and talents. As he can’t trust anyone at first, he can only trust himself and to succeed he knows that he cannot have any doubt in himself. By listening to his gut, Bourne eliminates the social conditioning and lies we each face every day. Bourne can only rely on himself and by doing so learns that he is all he needs to succeed. No one is better than you to live your own life. Listen to that little voice inside yourself and make judgements and decisions in your life on what you really believe and not to simply fit in, look cool or what not. When you pretend to be someone that you really aren’t that is when a lot of guys drink heavy, take drugs or get into fights – to escape the feeling deep down that they are not being true to themselves. Bourne has overcome this by listening to himself and relying on himself only. Have you?
- Bourne has a mission in the film, namely to find out who he is. Throughout the film, he learns various things about himself and his past and adapts his mission parameters as he goes through the film. Too many of us don’t know what they want from life or what they could achieve in life so they bounce from job to job that they hate, they allow social conditioning to define what they do, who they friend and where they go. Bourne is a great example of someone who has a purpose in life and stays on the path to achieving it. Pick a goal in your life and work towards it. Find something that makes you excited to get out of bed and work hard, putting in the hours if needed like Bourne has. No one will give this goal to you except yourself.
- He looks inside for the answers. Too many of us today let other people dictate where we go to school, where we work, what we wear and what we do for a social life governed by social conditioning. When you watch the film, you will see that Bourne asks himself questions and listens to the feedback he gets. He is always seeking the truth about himself. We all have hidden secrets within ourselves, relating to what our true purpose is and what we can achieve in life. Sadly few of us ever get out of the comfort zone and will go to the grave wondering what could have been. When Bourne receives an answer, he follows up on the facts he finds. He doesn’t listen to others or let others decide for him. He has his goal in mind and stays on the path to this.
- In scenes in the film we see hints that Bourne is fit and ready for battle. We see his fighting skills regularly, his running ability, his ability to scale buildings and other hints like his weight bench in his Paris flat. Something obvious about Bourne is that he is ready to go on a mission as soon as he is called. We see how the other agents can be texted or emailed in minutes and must respond and go on the mission assigned straight away. They do not have time to get ready, to bulk and cut like most modern men have. They do not have an off season. They must be ready. Bourne is in great shape. Whatever challenges are thrown at him he is ready to endure, to complete and bypass. To do this, Bourne maintains his fitness, physical and mental. Bourne is ready for any challenge. He trains to improve himself and develop his skills so he is primed and ready when called on a mission. Bourne is always learning and practising his languages, and other skills. He is always looking to better himself and practices his skills until they are automatic. Don’t wait until you need a skill and it is not at the level you need, simply build up it on a schedule and then you just need to maintain it. Ask anyone at a gym for example, maintaining muscle is a lot easier than building it. Don’t wait till you need it, have it in your arsenal ready, regardless of what the skill is. Your life (new gym PB, potential date etc) may depend on it!
- Even Bourne knows he can’t do it all himself. He allows help from various people in the film(s) like Marie and the fishermen. Asking for help is not admitting defeat. Boldly forcing your way in pain etc is failing if there help available. You are not Bourne. You are not a Government built super soldier. It is OK to ask for help. What it is not OK is to allow others to control your life. Bourne keeps a great balance of protecting and looking out for his allies and getting a level of support from them but keeping on his mission path and relying on himself.
SO HOW CAN YOU BE LIKE HIM
- Have a goal in your life. Jason Bourne spends the films trying to discover who he is and find peace from his enemies. You need to have a goal in your life. You need to wake every day with your mission on your mind and excitement to accomplish your mission parameters. It doesn’t matter what your goal is but you should always have one and be looking to achieve it. When you achieve one mission, assign yourself another one and work to achieve that. Then repeat. You don’t need to tell your goal to anyone. You just need to have one and chase it everyday. Life is for the taking but no one will do it for you. You need to man up, rely only on yourself and do the things you need to do to accomplish what you want in life. Simples!
- Put yourself under stress. Obviously you won’t be fighting government assassins anytime soon but you need to be constantly challenging yourself. You need to be keep pushing your boundaries, learning new skills, maintaining the ones you have and seeking out the truth about yourself and what you can achieve in life (hint: it’s much MUCH more than you currently think). However, this all takes work. You won’t find it easily. You won’t find it in your comfort zone. By challenging yourself, you learn how you are stronger than you think and how you can rely on yourself more as you accomplish more and more of your goals.As your comfort zones shrinks you will seek out more challenges as you will crave them more. Bourne was always ready for the challenges he would face next and you need to be too. You haven’t got the luxury of people trying to kill you so you need to find other ways to put yourself under pressure and learn the real truth about yourself and you need to do this regularly. Start today. Pick a challenge and go for it. Sky-dive, abseil, ask out a hot girl, just do something. Start today. Start now. Then repeat when you ace it!
- You never know what life or your mission will throw at you. You need to be fit and able to deal with the challenges you encounter, be it physical, emotional or mental challenges. As you won’t get time to prepare for most challenges, you need to be ready for anything. Simple ideas include Work out and Lift weights (stay off the machines as free weights give so many more advantages and better results in the gym), do DDP Yoga (see my review by clicking the link) and pick and learn new skills weekly, like a new language, juggling, walk on your hands, how to do interviews better, how to be more assertive etc. You need it all – Strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, mental belief in yourself and so on. Train for all the possibilities but hope you don’t need them. Be prepared and have the skills ready for use and you just need to maintain them. Learning a new skill is like pushing a car. It’s really hard to get going but once you start and build up some momentum, it becomes easy and then you just need to put in a little effort to maintain that skill. Learn a martial art. Work out, build muscle. Read up on subjects you may need to know about. You can’t be prepared for everything but you can definitely restrict potential problems in your life. As you learn new skills, you open up new possibilities in your life and your comfort zone shrinks and you want to do it all. In your down time get ready so when you have a mission you are like Bourne.
- Listen to your inner voice. Sadly, we live in a world where we are used to instant feedback, from text messages, to chats on social media and so on. We now need that high from hearing that ping or see our inboxes light up. As fun as this can be, sadly it also means that we do not believe in ourselves unless we see our actions validated by others in terms of retweets, likes and other BS methods. You can actually see the panic in some people’s eyes as the new outfit or news they thought people would fawn over causes little reaction and they panic or retreat into their shell. Don’t be the person where it is no longer OK for just you to like something, you need others to tell you it is OK – that is when you fail at life. No one is better than you. No one is better at being you than you are. If you like something or want to live your life a particular way, do it. You don’t need permission from anyone. Just don’t hurt anyone and all is good. No longer do we listen to that inner version of ourselves who only has our best interests at heart and knows how to keep us out of trouble and danger – instead most to that sad mate you wants to keep you at his level or the girlfriend who wants to shape you into her ideal version of a boyfriend but not what you really want or listen to that pushy parent that just wants to show off to their friend. Believe in yourself, listen to yourself and live your life on your own terms, following your own path and make your own successes and failures. You need to recalibrate that voice and learn to listen to it. Try a Media fast (no internet for a week unless it is needed for work or school). Stop asking questions to others on what you should do about x,y or z (unless work stuff) and instead listen to what you think is the right course to do. It may work out great or you may fail. However, you will do it on your terms, no one elses. As you do it more and more, you start to notice little signals from your senses and will make better judgements. Eventually you learn yourself and what makes you the best version of yourself and hit that next level. That’s when life gets good. Become mates with yourself again and hit that next level only he can bring!
- Leave your ego at the door. To become like Bourne, you need to work. You will fail. You will have the odd bruise and sore limbs from the gym. You will struggle to learn that new language or be rejected by that girl but slowly you learn from them. You learn about what worked and what didn’t. You notice things that don’t work, like certain body language, lack of faith, getting into your head too much before trying a new pb at the gym and so on. You learn what doesn’t work and what you need to cut out of your prep and execution to ensure best chances of success. You will stay fail sometimes as you can’t control other people and every scenario is different but you will have a lot more success as you develop yourself and hit that next level. However, to do this you need to forget everything you think you know. Become like the old Chinese saying – become the empty vessel. Some one who thinks they know it all is like a cup with a lot of water in it. You can’t fill it up more as they won’t absorb the information. Someone who allows themselves to be a beginner, learn from others, ask questions and uses the information will succeed, they are like the empty vessel, which can be filled up with a lot of liquid information. Leave the ego at the door. Yes, there will be bigger guys at the gym for instance who can lift more weights but they are perfect allies to ask nutrition and lifting tips from. The same in any scenario. Identify the allies in everything you do, ask questions and listen to your own internal feedback and adapt your attack plan as needed. Bourne is always learning and you need to be too.
Yes, Jason Bourne is a government built super soldier, with greatly developed physical and cognitive levels compared to the average guy but that’s it. He is no more different than you or me. The main difference is that Bourne has supreme in himself. He has to rely on himself as he knows no one else will come to save him. Currently at my work, I work across three departments assisting all staff with operational and infrastructure work. I juggle many priorities a day and have conflicting demands. I have to be self assured and rely solely on myself as no one will do the work for me.
You shouldn’t always try to be on your own and live by yourself, it’s OK to have friends and family help and support but to be a modern man, you need to rely on yourself to meet your goals. No one else will. You need to put in the work to get the life you want. If not, you’ll end up in a job you hate, with a life you don’t want and wondering what could have been. No one else will give you the life you want. You need to chase your dreams and to do that you need to rely on the only person that you can change, develop and control in life … yourself!
Watch Bourne, he is the ultimate role model in self reliance and take your skill in this area to the next level!
Let me know what you think of this in the comment section below.