In 1993, Disney released a movie which slid its way into the hearts of many, inspiring us, encouraging us, and showing us anything is possible! That movie was Cool Runnings, the story of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team. It is a movie I have seen many times and can watch over and over again because of what it stands for – hope! And, right now, we all need a little hope and inspiration in our lives.
While the movie depicts the rise of fictional bobsledders and portrays a different path to the Olympics than the actual bobsled team took, it still captures the essence of their journey. A journey from which we can leverage key lessons that are applicable to helping us come out of this pandemic ahead right now! Three (3) of those lessons, from the movie, are listed below.
To Read about the actual story of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, please click here.
- How Others Affect Us Is Up to Us! – The people in our lives, whether they are friends, family, or even acquaintances have an impact on us. They can lift us up, make us happy, and believe in us. On the other hand, they can also bring us down, make us angry, and drain us. While we cannot control the actions or beliefs of others, we CAN control they way in which we let them impact us. For the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, they had a choice, just like we do right now. The team could let the individuals who did not believe in them and think that it was not possible for Jamaica to have a bobsled team be right, or, they could CONTROL the impact those “naysayers” had on them. As we know, they pushed on through adversity, fought through opposition, and stood up for themselves because they BELIEVED in themselves! They knew what they were fighting for, what they were striving for, and why they were on their journey! Because they did, they CHOSE the way in which the “naysayers” impacted them, just like we can do right now!
When we focus on the negativity, or as I like to call it “non-serving,” impact others have on us, it drains us! It keeps us in a state that actually releases chemicals in our body which keep us down. However, when we focus on what we want, why it is important to us, and embrace the actions we are taking towards it – what “serves” us – we release chemicals in our body that uplift us! The choice is and will ALWAYS be ours for how we let others impact us. A small shift away from others who do not serve us can have a large and great serving impact upon us.
Right now, we CAN chose who we put stock into, who we listen to, and who we let affect us versus who we let “roll off” of us. This choice IS ours and WILL have a great positive impact on our stress level, outlook, and well-being.
- Embracing Our Own Unique Identity – In the movie, we see the driver and captain of the team, Derice Bannock, imitate the Swiss team. The character emulates the Swiss because they are portrayed as the best and he wanted to have the same type of success as they did; hence, using their push start method down to the wording and timing of it. However, as the team progresses, we see the other Jamaican team members push back, wanting to embrace their own identity rather than the Swiss’. An important component of what is portrayed as a turning point for the team in the movie, and an important lesson for us too!
We often look to others for ways to help us achieve the success we seek. Something that is completely natural and okay for us to do! However, when it comes down to creating our own success, there is an important component this misses – how do we make it right for us? What this means is, how do we take what we see as the path to success and make it right and natural for us to walk? As the movie shows, embracing our own identity – who we truly are and what feels natural to us – is a big part of the answer. We CAN achieve what we want by being who we are!
Right now, we CAN embrace who we are and what feels right to us; something that can seem hard to do when others influence us, but is absolutely possible! This choice IS and ALWAYS will be ours to make! Embracing who we are and allowing it to dictate the actions we take WILL help us come out of this pandemic ahead!
- We Do Get Back Up Again! – One of the most iconic moments of Cool Runnings is the Jamaican bobsled team picking themselves up from a crash down the track and carrying their sled across the finish line. This crash did happen in real life, and the team did get up and cross the finish line. The four men in the sled could have easily stayed down, waited for medics to arrive, and step off of the track. Instead, they got back up, they chose to continue forward, and they crossed the finish line! Their choice is one we CAN make too! Each and every one of us IS capable of getting back up after being knocked down.
Today, there are seemingly and endless number of hurdles we are facing which “knock us down.” It can be easy to think that there is no way to get out from underneath them; however, there IS! We ARE capable of continually getting back up! And, the more we do so, the greater our confidence becomes, the higher our spirits become, and the more likely our success becomes. For, on the other hand, if we do not get back, we guarantee our success is not to come, our spirits will be low, and we will lose our confidence. The very important choice to get back up and continue forward IS and ALWAYS will be ours! We ARE capable of making it, just like the Jamaican bobsled team did!
Right now, choosing to get back up, step over the obstacles in our way, and continue to move forward WILL help us come out of the pandemic ahead. Doing so will make us! It will turn this time in our lives into something we look back upon and think “we made the most out of the situation we were in by setting ourselves up for success, creating what we wanted, and reaching our goals.”
Too often we jump immediately to the step of taking action towards what we want, which can lead us to not succeeding. By doing so, we skip over looking at what may stand in our way, such as, the thoughts or beliefs we have which hold us back. By taking the time to truly understand how others influence us, who we are, and that we ARE capable of getting back up and walking the path we want, we can address the hurdles which stand in our way. This reflection WILL help us create the right action to take.
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