A blockbuster, Life of Pi stirred up great discussion with my friends. Our discussion was opinionated but it revealed human’s behaviour. Our discussion revealed the origins of arguments and disappointments in life.
We talked about a wide array of topics regarding the movie. Our discussion range from the visual, to the lessons learned in the movie. Generally we found that most of our views are the same until he mentioned that he was disappointed with the theme.
Almost immediately I wanted to jump into the movie’s defence, but I held back. Several questions popped up two seconds later.
“How come I wanted to defend the film?”
“What had me jump into this reaction?”
“How come my friend was disappointed with Life of Pi?”
“What got us having different views about the same movie?”
What’s going on with us?
First, allow me to answer what got me to defend the film.
I enjoyed the movie. I love the storyline, I love the adventure and I love the lessons. Suddenly a resistant force that took me by surprise. I thought everyone should love this movie too, but I was wrong; not everyone. So I dug in to defend my position, to convince everyone that they should love this movie just like me.
I can’t agree on his views because I took on a position of “totally loving it.” I don’t have any complains about the movie. If I agree on my friend’s view, then I’m opposing my own views. And humans will want to be committed to our views and words. This created my reaction in defending the movie or should I say defending my position.
Hang on! Remember I did mentioned that I held back.
Another voice jumped up on me. “Is there any meaning in this defence?” “How would winning this argument do anything to my life?” What happened to my wide view of allowing others to share their thoughts and accepting different perspective? This wide view was turned narrow by my own ego.
Ego wanted to defend, wanted to win. In this instance, there is no meaning in winning. Would my friend think lesser of me, if I didn’t win? Absolutely not!
How many times in your life, you fought a meaningless fight? Only to realize that there weren’t any prizes after the win but just remorse and emptiness. You seem to win but actually you lost.
The next time before you jump into a fight, hold your horses. What are you fighting for? For a cause or for your ego? How many wars have we started in human history because of pure ego?
Not sure if it’s a blessing or curse that I’m a highly competitive person. Any game that I’m involved, I play to win. You hardly hear me say, “let you win because I can’t win.” What causes this competitive nature? Are you having this competitive nature as well? This is my explanation.
I was shown that results is everything in life since young. My parents and teachers expected me to achieve good grades in school. Scoring 90 out of 100 is not enough. My mentors in business taught me that results is everything. Results bring respect and approval. So I fought every fight I could, wanting to gain respect and approval.
Though I won fights, but there are side effects. I was known as a fighter, I was also known as an attacker. Due to this, I may not receive honest feedbacks from friends. I received inauthentic comments because friends felt that I would defend my position. This is my blind spot, and it wasn’t serving me.
Knowing the cause of my belief allows me to shift. Respect and approval doesn’t comes from result alone. I can gain respect and approval in many other ways. The shift of this belief gotten me to slow down and be at peace with not winning. Now I can choose my fight instead of involving in every fight.
You don’t just fight for the sake of fighting Isn’t it more important to choose your fight wisely?
What could be our cause of your competitive nature?
Back to our discussion about Life of Pi.
I’m sure you will experience times when someone had different opinions about the same movie. But having a totally opposite opinion of the same movie was interesting. I was full of satisfaction, my friend was disappointed. I was feeling full, he was feeling starved.
What got us to have different views of the movie?
Murder the Expectation
Disappointment arises when experience doesn’t meet expectation. My friend watched Life of Pi with an expectation. He was expecting the movie to teach him something new, but it didn’t. The delivery method was new, but the theme wasn’t.
On the other hand, I walked into the cinema without any expectation. I didn’t expect how I like the movie to be, what I like to see in the movie.
That’s how our different opinions came about. That’s also how many human arguments started.
The inability to meet expectation of one another and self was the major cause of many breakdowns of relationship, dissolving of partnership and suffering of life.
Having expectation keeps us from being truly happy and contented. In the end, that expectation may not be serving anyone or anything. Putting an expectation can become a never ending chase of something that is unreal. It disrupts your life of contentment and happiness.
Removing my expectation on movies, seminars, people etc, I open up a vast range of experience, allowing me to experience life from the other side. It adds lots of colours to my life.
Remove your expectation on the people around you. They are perfect in their own way, and so are you. Life becomes simpler that way.
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