Cool Runnings is an inspirational movie that has many lessons we can use to be successful. It can easily be passed off as a simple Disney kids movie but there is so much more it has to offer. I watched the movie again recently to remind me how important sport can be in teaching us to be determined and never give up on our goals.
I’ve recently hit a bit of a slump after achieving so much in recent months. This is expected when you push through so many barriers and then don’t take the time to look at how far you’ve come. Taking time out to be grateful and inspire yourself with movies like Cool Runnings is so important.
Here are the 5 lessons you can learn from the movie Cool Runnings:
1. The underdog can win
At its core, Cool Runnings is a movie about the underdog. You can have all the money and resources in the world like the Swiss bobsled team in the movie, and still not be able to win. The movie shows us that the way you think and your mindset outweighs everything else.
When you think being the underdog is going to make you lose, you will – badly. If you believe that anything is possible and you deserve success, then you will be closer to where you want to get to.
The Jamaicans had every reason to think they were inferior with their beaten up bobsled yet they believed in their dream. They knew they were pursuing their Olympic dream for a reason and they weren’t going to let anyone tell them they couldn’t win a gold medal.
The guys visualised their dream every day and even though they didn’t know exactly how they would get there, they believed the underdog could win. In your life, do you believe you can achieve your dream even though it might seem so far away?
By adopting the underdog way of thinking from Cool Runnings, you can reframe situations where you are in last place, to situations of belief and knowing that your disadvantages are sometimes your greatest advantages.
2. Being different is important
The Cool Runnings movie spent a lot of time emphasizing how the Jamaicans were so different from everyone else. They were not used to cold conditions, they had a broken down bobsled, they had very little money, they dressed differently, and they were amateurs at the sport.
By being so different, they stood out more and this is what got people behind their mission. If they were like everyone else, they might never have found their voice and their true identity. Pretending to be what society wants you to be is a guaranteed way to fail.
The more you embrace your culture and the quirkiness of your true self, the more you can stop living a lie and being a Hollywood actor at life. You can’t act your way to success because eventually, you’ll realise you’re incongruent and then your inner world will come crashing down.
Be like the Jamaican bobsled team and just be happy with who you are. Embrace who you are!
3. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do
The character Junior in Cool Runnings comes from a very wealthy family. His dad tries to stop him from his dream and tells him that he knows best. As the movie progresses, Junior realises that what his dad told him is false.
The only person that knows what’s best for him is himself. This vital lesson shows us that you can’t let outside forces and other people shape your life.
If you’re working some job because you think it’s what everyone else wants you to do and because it gives you a certain amount of comfort money, then at some stage, your life will come crashing down. Your dream is uniquely your own and your family and friends may think it’s nuts.
It’s typically in these circumstances that you know you’re on the right path. The only person that can truly understand you is yourself. By trying to impress everyone else and playing the part others want you to play, you miss out on the activities that truly make you feel fulfilled.
Don’t be fooled; only you can tell yourself what to do and what feels right. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t have your dream because you can. It all starts with you.
4. You’re enough already
John Candy’s character “Irv” in Cool Runnings is depicted as an Olympic cheat. In a previous Olympics, he is found to have put extra weights into the bobsled to make it go faster. Irv tells Derice in the movie that he cheated because he made winning his whole life.
He explains that when you make winning your whole life you have to keep on winning no matter what. Even though Irv had won two gold medals, he says he learned that you have to be enough before a triumph like winning a gold medal; otherwise you will never be enough after winning a gold medal.
Think of an Olympic gold medal like your dream. If you dream of becoming influential and being known globally as someone who is the best in their field, you have to be happy with who you are and being enough before you have all the success.
Having enormous success can create even more problems if you haven’t got control of who you are beforehand. No matter what, right now, you are already enough. Chase your dream because of what it can do to inspire others and what it can do for others. Don’t chase your dream so that you can become enough.
5. Everyone deserves a second chance
Vishen Lakhiani says in his book “The Extraordinary Mind” that forgiveness has such an important part in our inner mind and it can help to increase our alpha brainwaves. In Cool Runnings, we see the character Irv plead for forgiveness and get given a second chance.
The reality is this: everyone will make a massive mistake at some point in their life. In fact, this will probably happen multiple times in someone’s lifetime. We have to learn to let go of the past and be able to give someone a second chance.
No one is perfect and we all have a lapse in thinking at times. When you give someone a second chance to show you the good they have inside of them, you open the door to an array of emotions and help to make impossible events possible.
The Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings would never have made it to the Olympics if the Winter Olympics committee didn’t forgive Irv and allow him to make up for what he did by cheating prior. It’s not so much about what someone has done, but how they retell the story of their misdemeanor and the new meaning they give this event.
If someone can show you that they have learned from their mistake and they can explain how they messed up, you’d be crazy not to give them a second chance. Imagine if that was you in that situation. Wouldn’t you want to be given a second chance?