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10 Life Lessons From Movie – Dangal

The 2017 film ‘Dangal’ was a big hit at the box office and it blew away the critics. Amir Khan and all the other actors received a lot of praise for their roles. There’s a lot to love about “Dangal”, seeing that it teaches us a lot about life and success. There are plenty of things to learn from the film and here are some of the lessons worth pondering on:

1 – Don’t Quit – Seek Opportunities

Amir has a dream of getting a gold in wrestling for his country and wants to pursue this dream through his children.
After unsuccessful attempts to get a male child, Amir gave up on his dream. What caused him to quit was the limiting belief that wrestling is only for boys. Life threw a curve ball at him and he realised that he can pursue his dreams through his girls as well.
Opportunities for success and fulfillments are never-ending. When one door closes, another one opens. This is both annoying and awesome at the same time, based on the fact that we don’t know when the next door is going to open, so we have to adopt the mindset of always being grateful and keeping an open mind.

2 – Have an undying faith in your dream and your efforts

Amir’s daughters were ridiculed as girl wrestlers on the basis that it was an unaccepted practice in India at that time. Amir ignored the negativity and kept doing what he believed in.
We need to understand that we don’t need the approval of others to chase our version of success and we don’t need other people to co-sign the things we wish for the most. The universe does not shape us, we shape the universe!

3 – Be Mentally Tough

Amir never worried too much about anyone. He always exhibited the qualities of a person who knew what he was doing and was able to stay calm and rational when he faced opposition from many angles. Understanding of what mattered the most made him mentally tough. The value of practice was given the highest importance and everything else was ignored.
We all need to be mentally tough to pursue the things we want and having some amount of clarity around what we want can help us tremendously. Mental toughness unlike other things comes with clarity and a strong belief in our abilities to perform.

4 – Be Flexible To Change

Amir’s family was vegetarian. After realising that his girls were not gaining the required strength needed to become a wrestler, he changed his approach and started to include chicken in his daughters’ diets. Protein helps with muscle building and being a wrestler requires strong muscles. Amir was flexible in his approach and was ready to adapt.
Similarly, in the real world, we need to be flexible and develop the ability to change our methods if the previous ones are no longer working. The more we are able to adapt and work around our ever-changing circumstances, the greater the success we’ll enjoy.

5 – Find ways to compete

When Gita lost her first Dangal she realised that she needed to do more. Competition showed her where she was and also where she needed to be. She competed with boys and had an advantage when she competed against girls.

We should always be prepared for situations that may need us to apply the skills that we are learning. Competition is very important as it provides motivation to achieve a goal, demonstrates determination, creativity and perseverance to overcome challenges. It also helps us understand that hard work and commitment leads to a greater chance of success. Competition in any form brings out the best in people and pushes them to keep improving.

6 – Be Fearless

Amir’s daughter Babita selected the strongest male candidate for her first fight. This is when Amir came to grips with the idea that his daughter had overcome the first hurdle for success and that hurdle was fear.
Fear limits our full potential and it all starts in the mind. We need to overcome our fears if we intend to achieve anything. By doing this, we build references for ourselves to take on our fears in future.

7 – Work with What You Have

When Amir was preparing his girls for the national championships, he wanted them to practice on the mattress that was going to be used in the actual competition. He could not get what he wanted, so he started using home mattresses for practice instead. Instead of complaining about the situation, he made the best of what he had and powered through this situation.

This simply means that when we start out with anything, we may not have all the resources we want. We just need to accept the situations for what they are and work with our circumstances rather than struggle against them. We should focus on what we have and not on the limitations. Align any resources that we are given in such a way that they take us closer to our goals.

8 – Don’t get Complacent

After Joining the National Academy, Gita started taking it easy and complacency kicked in. She began to relax so much that it affected her diet and she also got distracted by things that had no bearing on the outcome she wanted.
When we start feeling too safe or comfortable we tend to get complacent. When that occurs, we stop doing the things that brought us success in the first place. So if we want to be the best, we can never take it easy.

9 – Play to your strengths:

Gita stopped playing to her strengths in the movie. As Amir mentioned later, Gita’s game was made for attack and she began to play defensive in most if not all of her matches. This is where she went wrong. We should always seek to play to our strengths. Similarly for us, we should identify our strengths and build on them, while finding time to do the same for our weaknesses.

10 – The end result is worth the pain

The end result is always worth all the hard work. All the efforts put in by Gita in the movie were worth it in the end.

The same outlook can be applied to real life as well. All the hard work we are going to put in will eventually give us the results we desire.

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