In honor of The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters this week, it’s BatWeek on the Macedonia Films blog. Since I’ve been blogging about how to quit your day job and follow your dreams, I thought it’d be appropriate to examine how our favorite crime-fighter broke away from the 9-to-5 and sought a more fulfilled life.
If you feel trapped in day-job purgatory, there’s a couple important lessons we can learn from the Dark Knight himself.
He Focused on the ‘Why’
Bruce Wayne didn’t don the cape and cowl because he thought it would be cool. He didn’t start risking life and limb to meet Catwoman. No. He was totally focused on his ‘why.’ Having his parents murdered before him when he was only 8 years old cemented a passion in Bruce to see crime brought to an end. Even when he’s not prowling the streets as Batman, Bruce’s charitable foundation supports the victims of violent crime and provides education and services to help prevent people from turning into criminals.
I can’t recommend the TED Talk by Simon Sinek enough. To date, I think this is the fourth time I’ve mentioned it on the Macedonia Films blog. It’s that good. It has become a filter by which I process my goals.
He Became an Expert in His Field(s)
Ol’ Bruce didn’t just pick up a batarang and make a go of it. Nope. Depending on which incarnation of the Batman saga you observe, Bruce didn’t become Batman till he was somewhere between 25 and 30. If his parents were murdered when he was 8, that translates to around 20 years of prep time. It’s said that Bruce spent his early adult life traveling the world, learning and training. He went undercover in criminal organizations to gather intel on all his opponents. He became an expert in the fields of science, investigation, and martial arts.
I’ve lost track of how many young 20-somethings I’ve met that thought they could pick up a camera and win an Oscar on their first film. It takes a long time to develop talent and knowledge. Do yourself a favor and commit to learning as much as you can. Volunteer, read books, work late into the night, do whatever it takes. Don’t expect instant results. Cherish your milestones and challenge yourself with new goals.
If you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with a career you’ll enjoy.
He Assembled a Team
Have you seen the 13-minute featurette for The Dark Knight Rises? If not, you can watch it here. Over lunch recently, my friend (and John Gray screenwriter) Jessica Powers pointed out an interesting thing brought up in the featurette: each person that Bruce Wayne allies with brings something unique to the table, each person confronts Batman with different questions.
Alfred, ever loyal to the Waynes, provides the family and fatherly wisdom that Bruce was robbed of. He’s Batman’s heart. Would Bruce be able to carry on without Alfred’s moral support?
Lucius is the brains behind Batman, providing Bruce with the technology and manufacturing man-power every solo crime-fighter so desperately needs. Along with Alfred, Lucius also helps provide Bruce with a moral compass, always questioning and challenging the caped crusader when he steps too far into ethical gray-areas.
Gordon provides Batman’s conscience. When villains terrorize the city, Gordon turns on that iconic spotlight; the bat-symbol reminds Bruce that evil still breathes. When Bruce is beaten down and ready to give in, Commissioner Gordon keeps the ‘why’ clearly in focus.
Whether your stepping out for justice, or writing that novel you’ve been putting off, you need to be focused, trained, and in good company. Opposition may not come at you with riddles and high-explosives, but stay the course and you’ll see the job done. Good luck!