The Matrix trilogy (and especially the original movie) is so popular that over 10 years later our Matrix Sunglasses are still selling like hotcakes. Generally speaking, I believe The Matrix is iconic for several reasons. For one, some of the special effects were groundbreaking. Things like the levitating Kung Fu choreography and the “bullet time” effect have been repurposed over and over since these concepts were introduced via The Matrix. Another reason is that the overall concept of the movie was unique for its time – yes similar concepts can be found in earlier movies, but none of these early precursors were widely-seen. Yet another reason is that the movie involves deep philosophical ideas that really get the brain juices going.
This last point is really the basis for today’s post. There are some life lessons that can be garnered from some of the more philosophical elements of the trilogy. The first lesson is that sheer determination and willpower can lead to opportunity. Neo is a classic example of this. Before being introduced to The Matrix, Neo was a computer hacker, and a damn good one at that. Neo, or anyone else for that matter, would have had to work extremely hard to achieve this level of expertise. Thanks to Neo’s hard work, Morpheus took notice and the rest, as they say, is history.
The second lesson is that you can do what you believe you can do. I strongly believe in the idea of “mind over matter” when it comes to things such as your health, your productivity, and your overall happiness in life. The difference between success and failure many times comes down to taking action, and taking action requires a belief that you can successfully do the task at hand. Once again, Neo is a good example of this, as it was his mind that allowed him to break the perceived laws of physics within The Matrix. By putting aside his fears and disbelief, and trusting himself, he was able to free himself from his preconditioned need to follow the “normal” laws of physics within The Matrix. This allowed him to have something akin to superhuman powers (while also looking extremely cool wearing his Neo sunglasses!).
The final lesson is that knowledge is power. When Neo uttered the now famous quote, “I know Kung Fu,” he felt empowered. This is why successful people strive to constantly learn new things. Learning does not end after graduation; it must be a lifelong endeavor. By constantly learning new things, you’ll be better equipped to make previously unnoticed connections to spot new opportunities, you’ll generally be more competent, and you’ll have an easier time adapting to change.
In the final analysis, The Matrix offers some excellent life lessons that we should all adopt. To sum it up, if you are determined and hard working, have a strong belief in your ability to succeed, and strive to continuously learn new things, you’ll be better off in life. Period.