We all look up to the movies; some of us even use them as guides on how to be happier and more fulfilled. And while one can find the occasional gem among them, movies are also often guilty of giving us rather bad advice on how to live our lives. Here are some typical movie scenarios that we're all familiar with. Feel free to enjoy these scenes all you want, but remember, the underlying advice is best taken with a pinch of salt!
1. "Stand back. I'm gonna do this alone"
From Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator, to our very own Shahenshah and Krrish, we are fascinated by 'lone hero' movies. However, very few people have become successful all by themselves. The fact is, achieving change all by yourself is very difficult; admitting you need help is a BIG step in your journey to be a better person.
2. "Forget logic—follow your heart!"
Following your heart might be good advice, but not at the cost of common sense. Risking everything on a whim is usually the way followed by gamblers and those with little to lose. Analysing a situation, speaking to others with experience, testing the waters, and assessing your progress is generally better than jumping into the deep end straight away.
3. "Always cut the red wire!"
This is the kind of cookie-cutter advice that often gets us into trouble. How many times have friends or family members told us things like "Stick with a job, even if you hate it" or "Leave it all to God"? Remember, every situation is unique, and simplistic advice like 'always cut the red wire' can actually, excuse the pun, blow up in your face.
4."I can't let the world know who I really am"
Another myth, particularly from superhero and spy movies, is that sometimes we need to lead a 'double life', hiding our talents, gifts and ambitions behind the boring façade of 'what's expected' by our families or society. Wrong again, unfortunately. Being genuine and unapologetic about your strengths and using them well is one step to lasting happiness.
5. "You don't need to deserve great stuff; you just need destiny"
We loved that scene where Po fell from the sky, just as Master Oogway was choosing the Dragon Warrior in Kung Fu Panda 1. But this is one of the worst subliminal messages of movies everywhere: the goofy slob gets the dream girl, the down-on-his-luck guy suddenly inherits billions, the lazy loser discovers he's got unlimited power. That's because DESERVING something is harder than having it fall into your lap—but honestly, you have a much larger chance of success with the former than the latter.
6."Silent ho jaa, varna main violent ho jaoonga"
In real life, shutting out others is not the best way to grow as a person. It's quite the reverse, actually. Experts say that putting one's ego on hold and listening patiently to negative feedback is crucial for self-improvement. So the next time someone tosses valid criticism your way, mentally thank him or her for indicating how you could do better next time.
7."You become great by breaking the rules."
Movie heroes are above laws (and in the case of Rajinikanth or Mithun, physics). Bending the laws come rather easily to us. But this can sometimes be life-threatening: for example, by not using pavements and walking on the road, we are endangering ourselves and impeding vehicular traffic. Standard Chartered has launched a campaign, Happy Footpaths, to remind us that no matter how invincible we might feel, pavements do have a pretty useful purpose. See the video below:
This year, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is encouraging people to get #OneStepCloser towards creating positive change in their lives. Whether it is using the pavement, getting fitter or building better relationships, you too can join the movement. Click here to know more.