It is no surprise to the people that know me that I LOVED ‘The Lego Movie’, after all I am an avid fan of not only the toy but also the cultural phenomenon that it has created as well as the company and it’s history perfecting ‘The Brick’. With the movie having just been released in Australia on BluRay last Thursday, I’m not going to lie, I have my copy and I may have watched it several times already.
Once I enjoyed the movie a few times I began to look a little deeper, you know, looking at what is going on in the background, listening for those really subtle jokes that I missed previously and seeking those inner lessons that are not spelt out for you but are either humorously glazed over or, aren’t specifically mentioned, they are just expected that you’ll unconsciously pick up on them. Below are my top 10:
1. You will always succeed when your WHY is bigger than you.
Emmet’s WHY was to save the world. I’ve written on this topic before and you can read about the importance of your WHY here. In short, when you are attached to a cause larger than you, you are far more inspired to push, because success comes from persistence in the face of adversity and that persistence is drawn from your desire…your WHY. In Emmet’s case he had the entire world relying on him to save them, he was the only one who could save them….well according to the prophecy. Your why might not be to save the world but it might be to give your family the best upbringing you can, or to help your company grow and become world class or to raise awareness for a particular cause. Whatever it is, the larger your why, the better.
2. There are no bad ideas.
Double-decker Couch. Need I say more. I am a firm believer that there are no bad ideas, just ideas that might work better in other situations or at another time. When Vitruvius and Wyldstyle venture into Emmet’s mind they find that the only idea he had ever had was for a double decker couch. To which Vitruvius responds “That idea is the worst”. Just because someone says your idea won’t work doesn’t mean that it won’t. Maybe they don’t share your vision or can’t see the benefit of your idea like you can. As we both know that idea which was ‘the worst’ ended up saving all of them.
3. Self-Doubt is within everyone
You’ll notice a common theme in most movies that involve a hero, an adventure, a villain and a great challenge and that is that the hero of our story always goes through a phase of self-doubt. I used to think that this was just for the story but I have found in life that everyone has self-doubt at times. Times when you might feel that you aren’t good enough or can’t do something. When you realise that everyone is sharing the same fears such as self-doubt, it is incredibly liberating because you also, in that moment, realise that it isn’t you that is scared, it’s apart of the human condition and has nothing to do with you.
5. Perfection isn’t a goal – no matter how much Krazy Glue you use.
Perfection is a strategy we run when we do not know what we want to achieve…we just say we want “the best”. Now we need to realise two things firstly, things can always be improved and secondly perfection is a state of completion. Therefore if things are always being improved then nothing truly is complete and as a result nothing can be perfect. President Business needed to learn this exact point.
4. It’s OK to be upset
Ahhhh UniKitty, we love her constant happiness and pleasant demeanour, but just like people, bottling up emotion is never a healthy thing to do. Living in a society where everything is about positive psychology and happiness it is crucial to understand that there is a time and place for the rest of the emotional spectrum as well. Need to cry? Then do it. Need to have a bad day? Have one and enjoy it. If we constantly build up every emotion except for happiness then we are sure to have a psychotic break…just like UniKitty.
6. There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’
Everybody knows that Batman is a lone rider, he doesn’t need help from anybody. However when you’re facing an entire army of robot mini figs and your friends are losing the battle, it is time to put your pride to the side and become a team player to ensure success against the bad guy. Never be too proud to ask for assistance, there are plenty of people in this world that are ready to help you succeed and get ahead in life, all you need to do is ask.
7. Just because someone says something, don’t always assume it is true
There are two great examples of this in The Lego Movie. When Wyldstyle gets on TV and says “You don’t know me but I’m on TV so you can trust me” and when Vitruvius says that he made up the Prophecy. It is a lesson that everybody really needs to learn in today’s society of globalisation. Just because we see something on TV, or in a commercial, or on social media it doesn’t mean that it is true. Do some research, make your own judgement, become a free-thinker – question everything.
8. Everybody can be extraordinary
There was nothing extraordinary about Emmet. We know this because the prophecy was made up, so any worker could have found the Piece of Resistance. However because everybody believed that Emmet was the one, he had immense support and (in the end) the belief that he could achieve great things. The truth is, we all have this within us.
9. Your world is only as you perceive it
As far as Emmet was concerned the only city that existed was Bricksburg, he knew of nothing else until he met Wyldstyle. The world is only how you experience it, it doesn’t mean that is how it actually is. There might be something that you don’t know about yet…just like Emmet. While science tries to prove and disprove facts about the world, we are always updating what we know about how the world works. For instance, once we perceived the world as flat, then we learnt otherwise.
10. Nobody is a master at something the first time they try
Remember the first time Emmet built anything without instructions…with the two 2×1 bricks. Useless. It was his first time and unlike the other Master Builders he wasn’t going to be building elaborate constructions. Things take practice, everybody has a first time and inevitably we are going to suck at it. Persistence leads to mastery, don’t give up, keep going, practising, failing, trying again.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and now over to you. Do you have a favourite film that has taught you some valuable lessons? I’d love for you to share them below 🙂