The Philosophy of Batman

Let fear and pain motivate you.

Photo by Ali Kokab on Unsplash

There are plenty of cinematographic characters that have started from nothing and built their life up to something worthwhile. Bruce Wayne is different. He was born into wealth and could have stayed in it even after his parent’s death. However, he chose to take a hard path, process his dark emotions and defined what values he was going to stand for.

Here are five lessons you can learn from batman:

1. Identify your fears

Fear was a big part of Bruce’s journey. As a young child, he was deeply afraid of bats as a result of an incident where he fell down a well infested with bats. As a vigilante superhero, Bruce chooses the bat as his symbol, admitting to Alfred that they frighten him and it’s the time the world shared his dread. When his parents died, he was forced to confront his fears, absorb his pain and work through it and do something constructive. A lot of the things that hold us back from taking on more of the things we need to do is fear.

Our fear may not even be consciously held but it’s something that we harbour deep within us. Sometimes we think we’re doing something because we are being logical when really we’re just afraid of doing what we want to do. Similarly, people avoid putting themselves in situations in which they may get refected. However, your ability to conquer your fear is directly related to how much you can progress. Don’t let the fear of unknown outcomes prevent you from doing what you need to do. What’s the downside if you don’t take that risk? Emotionally, financially or physically? When you’ve weighed your options, then ask yourself — What am I waiting for?

2. Fight chaos by creating a schedule

Bruce Wayne is constantly fighting against the agent of chaos. The Joker isn’t looking for anything logical, like money and he cannot be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Life is like that. Sometimes chaotic events come into our lives for seemingly no reason. Just like Batman, we have to fight the chaos. On a day-to-day, this could be through calendar blocking or implementing a system based goal-system. Whatever your path, don’t let chaos deter you from where you want to go.

3. Level up your standard of fitness

Unlike a lot of other superheroes, Batman doesn’t have powers. He’s still freakin’ awesome and his physical prowess makes him an incredibly dangerous opponent. Batman trained extensively in various martial arts, mastering many different types, and specializing in Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Savate, Karate, Muay Thai, Ninjutsu, Capoeira, Jujutsu, Kung Fu, and Aikido, making him one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the DC Universe. It’s believed that he doesn’t drink in order to ensure that he always keeps his intelligent and physical edge. Always one to push his body and health beyond reasonable limits, Wayne adheres to a strong diet and no-alcohol regimen that he started at age 15. While he sometimes drinks at parties in order to throw off those that may think of him as Batman, he does this by consuming mass amounts of ginger ale.

Whilst we don’t need to train to fight the villains of our towns, we can still glean some insights from Batman’s fitness regimen. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to fitness. Batman doesn’t stick to a single physical regimen and we shouldn’t either. Similarly, if Batman can keep a fitness schedule going since the age of 15, we should try and be as consistent as possible.

4. Meditation and cold water immersion

Focus and relaxation in intense situations are two of the key elements of being the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne trained his mind to respond to intense situations with a calm demeanour through meditating. He spent most of his time in the mountain fortress of Ra’s al Ghul strengthening his mind through mediation. It is not just Bruce Wayne who practises meditation, but also his enemy Bane. Bane is one of the few individuals capable of matching Batman in terms of his willpower, physicality and strength. Bane grew up in jail — imprisoned for his Father’s crimes and would spend hours in his cell meditating.

To strengthen your mind like Batman and Bane, here are some practical tips:

  1. Regular practice is key, but you don’t need to become a monk
  2. Create a fixed moment in your daily or weekly routine to start your mediation
  3. Observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement

5. Make your life’s work in getting back up again

Whether it’s the grief he experienced from losing his parents or the physical deterioration by villains stronger than him, Batman always gets back up. Heck, the last film in The Dark Knight Trilogy is even called “The Dark Knight Rises”. This philosophy is engrained in Batman through Alfred. As Wayne Manor is burning down, this is the exchange the pair have:

Bruce Wayne: What have I done, Alfred? Everything my family… my father built…

Alfred Pennyworth: The Wayne legacy is more than bricks and mortar, sir.

Bruce Wayne: I wanted to save Gotham. I failed.

Alfred Pennyworth: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Bruce Wayne: You still haven’t given up on me?

Alfred Pennyworth: Never.

Whatever obstacles you might be facing, remember never to give up and keep fighting.

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