Powerful life-changing lessons can be found everywhere and the 1999 film, The Matrix is full of them. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend that you do!
In the film Keanu Reeves portrays Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, who goes by the hacker alias Neo, is led to fight an underground war against powerful computers who have constructed his entire reality with a system called the Matrix.
Below I’ve put together 7 life-changing lessons from The Matrix that you can use immediately to achieve greater success in your life.
1. You can’t do it until you believe it
One of the continuous lessons from the matrix that you can learn is that you can’t something until you believe you can.
Throughout the film, Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) is trying to change Neo’s (Keanu Reeves) limiting beliefs about the Matrix and himself being “The One”. As Neo’s beliefs change he begins to start accessing more of his abilities. It wasn’t until he believed he was “The One” that he started acting like “The One”.
Your beliefs about yourself and the world dictate your behavior. They act like self-fulfilling prophecies. If you don’t believe you can do something you will not take enough action, and thus you fail to achieve what you believe you couldn’t do.
Conversely, when do you believe you can do something, you’re likely to take the necessary actions which will cause you to succeed.
2. The world as you perceive it isn’t real. It’s just your perception.
In the film, the Matrix was a computer-generated dream world that would hijack a person’s mind while the machines were using their bodies as batteries. It was only when Neo was awoken to the truth that he was able to see what he once considered real was all, in fact, a computer program.
One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is that the map is not the territory. Meaning that our mental maps of the world are not the world. Yet we respond to our maps, rather than directly to the world. If you were to change your mental maps, your world would change.
Similarly, your perception of the world is based on your beliefs or your mental maps and you act in accordance with your beliefs. What’s important to realize is that your beliefs are only true for you. It is a reality for you, but not actual reality. Your reality exists only in your mind.
Everyone else has their own unique beliefs and perceptions and is experiencing a completely different reality.
Change your perceptions and change your world.
3. Everyone falls the first time
“You have to let it all go Neo. Fear, doubt, disbelieve. Free your mind.” – Morpheus
In the famous jump scene, Neo fails his first jump, but it means nothing because everyone falls the first time.
Think about it, when you were learning how to walk as a baby did you just get up and start walking straight away? No right?!
One of the most important lessons you can take away from The Matrix in this scene is that we learn through failure. The fear of failure is probably the biggest obstacle to success but in reality, the quicker you can fail, the quicker you can succeed.
4. Learning fast is a superpower
If you’ve seen the film then I’m sure one of your favorite scenes is when Neo learns Kung Fu within minutes by having the program uploaded into his mind. This highlights another important lesson from The Matrix which is that learning fast is a superpower.
Today this is one of the most valuable skills you can have. While not everyone has a photographic memory like Elon Musk, speed reading might be a skill worth learning.
In fact, simply making a habit of reading daily will set you apart from the rest. Reading allows you to learn fast because you can literally stand on the shoulders of giants. Reading allows you to learn in a few hours what it has taken some of the greatest individuals in history a lifetime to learn.
5. Sometimes blind belief in yourself is exactly what’s needed
In the film, Morpheus had such a blind belief that Neo was “The One”. He believed it so blindly that he was willing to risk his life and even the future of the human race to protect Neo from the agents. In the end, it paid off.
This lesson from The Matrix is simply to know that sometimes you do need blind belief in yourself if you are to succeed.
Think about the countless ideas that were rejected before they succeeded. Success stories like those of Walt Disney, Sylvester Stallone and Colonel Sanders show that you have to keep believing in yourself in the face of adversity if you are to become successful.
Think about this for a second…There is an Instagram account @world_record_egg that has 7.4 million followers and a picture of an egg that has 54 million likes. That’s the power of blind belief in your idea.
6. Always choose truth over convenience (take the red pill)
The scene where Neo is offered a choice of the blue pill or the red bill is one of the most famous scenes in the film.
Taking the red pill means adopting the beliefs, making the choices or consuming the information that allows you to see the world as it really is even though you would feel safer or happier if you did not.
It’s about doing the right thing over the easy thing. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and it’s about going through the pain that sometimes accompanies new growth. It’s only by doing these things that you can take your life to new heights.
7. There is no spoon
“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only realize the truth… THERE IS NO SPOON. Then you will see that its not the spoon that bends, it is yourself.” – Gifted Child
This is probably the most important lesson to take from The Matrix.
It signifies that a person cannot truly manipulate reality, a person can only manipulate him/herself. Only when a person changes him/herself can he/she change reality.
You can literally change the world, but you’re going to have to be willing to change yourself first.
Summary: 7 Life-Changing Lessons From The Matrix
- You can’t do it until you believe it.
- The world as you perceive it isn’t real. It’s just your perception.
- Everyone falls the first time
- Learning fast is a superpower
- Sometimes blind belief in yourself is exactly what’s needed
- Always choose truth over convenience (take the red pill)
- There is no spoon
What else did you learn from The Matrix? Let me know in the comments below.