Monday Mantra: 4 life lessons from Legally Blonde
Hello again! I hope we have already considered the skills we want to focus on this year. And found the passion in your life. It’s another Monday and here I am with another Monday mantra. This week, I thought I should get a little filmy and share my thoughts from one of my favourite films.
When I first watched the film, Legally Blonde, I did not reach the end. I found it stupid that a silly sounding woman dressed in shocking pink all the time lands at Harvard. But one boring afternoon when I was in the mood for chick flicks, I decided to give it another try. And I was surprised at the results!
What struck me when I seriously watched it (and many more times after that) is the passion and determination with which Elle Woods decides to go Harvard Law School and makes it happen. Everyone thinks it’s a stupid idea – her parents, teachers, friends, even the admission committee. But she sticks to her resolve and honestly works hard. I realized that we have a lot to learn from Elle Woods. Here are my lessons:
1. Break the mould. When Elle decides to join Harvard, it seems like the most bizarre thing for a Fashion major to do. Her parents are taken aback. Her friends are unconvinced. Her counsellor thinks she is crazy. When she asks for her back ups, Elle confidently replies “I don’t need back-ups. I am going to Harvard.” Had she given up because no one believed in her, she wouldn’t have discovered the things she is really capable of. And thanks to her pursuit of the seemingly impossible, she ends up even better than the boyfriend she did all this for. We too can push our boundaries a little. Explore the unknown. Go against the tide. Take our chances. Discover uncharted territories and hidden talents. We just have to be open to new possibilities and watch the magic happen.
2. Believe in yourself. I don’t think someone who equates judging a tidy whity contest with getting into Harvard law school would ever be taken seriously. Her shocking pink attire, manicured fingers, the colour of her hair or her admissions essay in a two-piece bikini don’t exactly spell competence. But unfazed by all this, she decides to go to Harvard and single-mindedly pursues it. She just waltzes into any space with her confidence and conviction. Self-doubt, I feel, is what kills a lot of our dreams. We are too full of doubts to see our ideas put to action. If we try and conquer our fears for once and indulge in our flights of fancy, we could live our dreams.
3. Hard work counts. Perseverance matters. True to Prof Callahan’s words, “I think she just woke up one morning and said I think I’ll go to law school today” – Elle is perceived as a misfit. She is the Malibu Barbie in the serious world of law students and professionals. But she shuts all her detractors up by working hard and speaking up in class, successfully proving that is just as capable as the others. We may set our minds to achieving the odd but honest efforts towards the right direction alone will make it possible. It may take time and resources. And patience to work on it over a period of time. But focussing your actions towards your goal will certainly yield results.
4. Give a little extra: Elle Woods is exactly the kind of person who would nonchalantly hand out a pink and perfumed resume for a law internship in the name of giving a little extra! Be it helping Paulette get her dog back or teaching her the ‘bend and snap’, not giving out Brooke’s alibi or lying to get David a date – Elle woods is happy to do that little extra for people around her as long as it makes them happy. We all lead a busy life and perhaps don’t have a lot of time to spare. But if we look around, we can always afford to do that little extra for others. And, you never know, your little deed of selfless kindness might make a huge difference to someone’s life.
I realise that just because Elle Woods got into Law after a major in Fashion doesn’t mean all of us can drop our defences and attain the impossible. But I believe that most lessons that I have drawn can be applied in our own contexts. I’d love to hear what are views on this. Shoot away your comments below.