Movie director Christopher Nolan did for the Batman series what red pumps do for a little black dress: Kick it up a notch. The Dark Knight trilogy showed the beginnings of billionaire Bruce Wayne who plunges into a gritty world as the Batman, fighting evil in the city that took his parents lives. He fought for good only to be made into a villain. But in the final chapter of this compelling trilogy, (spoiler alert), Batman finally found peace and received the credit he deserved—although his actions were not for the praise, but for justice.
So where am I going with this, you ask?
At some point in your career, you may have felt like a lone crusader fighting for what’s right when everyone around you seems to be jokers (pun intended). You can build over 10 years’ experience in your career just to realize one of the following things:
- You don’t know what you want to be when you “grow up.”
- You want to go in a completely different direction.
- You like what you do, but not who you do it for.
The path to finding a career that allows you to be challenged and have a fulfilling personal life isn’t easy. But you too can find your peace. These quotes from The Dark Knight trilogy can also apply as career lessons while you continue to set your own rules and fight mediocrity.
1. “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” ~ Bruce Wayne
Your colleagues and peers judge you more by your actions than your potential. You may be exciting, helpful, and personable, but come across as boring, passive, and closed. Sometimes it’s that you’re not aware that your behavior sharply varies depending on who you’re with or self-doubt trumps your true personality. Either way, people will assess you by what they see at face-value.
Make sure your personal brand attributes match the qualities needed to excel in your career. It’s not just who you are inside, but what shows on the outside too.
2.”Some men just want to watch the world burn.” ~Alfred Pennyworth
There are some people who would prefer to complain about what’s wrong than actually do something about it. These are the people who make fun of your “silly dreams,” counter every idea you have, and would rather keep you in misery with them than to see you succeed. They could be your coworkers, your manager, or even a friend in disguise. Some people just don’t want to be better. But you can’t change anyone who is not open to change. Instead, surround yourself with people who want to spark the flame, not just watch it.
3. “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” ~Thomas Wayne
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. There is more honor in falling than playing it safe and experiencing nothing at all. Yes, it absolutely without a doubt sucks to fail, but how else are you going to grow? Even if you keep getting knocked down, ask yourself which person do you want to be: The person who sits comfortably talking about what they wish they could do or the person working towards their dreams.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about failing. Each time you pick yourself up is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and get closer to your goals.
4. “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” ~Harvey Dent
No matter what you’re going through, things will get better if you believe that they will. It’s sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have to drag yourself to a job that you hate; or each time you don’t get a callback for a job you just knew you were perfect for.
Keep pushing forward regardless. Do your part to make room for change and trust that you will benefit from your resilience. You too will rise.