November 22, 2015

5 Lessons on Life from James Bond.

james bond

The new James Bond movie Spectre is out and I went to see it last weekend.

Now, I don’t consider myself a Bond fan, not at all, but somehow I managed to see most of them, from James Connery ‘til Daniel Craig.

So what’s the attraction in the Bond movies—besides the spectacular action scenes, the melodramatic display of women and the evil villains being conquered time and time again?

To me it’s the man: Bond, James Bond.

Why? Well, Bond is not perfect—not even close—but that’s exactly part of his charm. And let me tell you, this guy sure knows how to live his life to the fullest, something I strive for myself relentlessly.

Cavorting his way through Mexico City, London, Rome, Austria and the Moroccan desert, Bond does this so well. There are five lessons on life to be learned from this:

1. Lean into life.

Yes, lean into life. When the world around you is falling apart, like buildings crumble when Bond comes about, embrace the change, go with the flow and seize the opportunities.

When change is all around, do like Bond does: lean into the collapsing walls, glide along the sliding pillars, look for the opportunities to hold onto—think door frames and balconies—and have faith that you will softly land on the sofa conveniently placed by the universe just outside in the courtyard.

Yes, lean into life because the universe takes care of you. No use resisting, life has your best interest in mind. Oh, and when the dust has settled…gracefully get up and walk away without ever glancing back.

2. Know when to walk away from an argument without losing your cool.

Bond masters this one. Whenever his superior—or anybody else who thinks they know better—blabs on about what is going on out there in the field, this master spy just excuses himself politely and moves on to do his thing.

Yes, sometimes it’s a good idea to walk away from an argument, especially before it gets personal. There are people who will never back down. There people who just want to argue for the sake of argument. Know when to walk away from this. It saves your energy, it saves your cool and in the end, it saves you time to do the things that really matter to you.

3. Never be too proud to call for help.

Bond is very much a loner, but he’s never too proud to ask for help. Not in times of trouble like calling in the troops while racing along the Tiber in Rome and not when he thinks he’s better off using someone else’s skills or knowledge to achieve his goals like paragliding the snowy mountaintops in the tip of a airplane in Tirol.

Now if calling in the troops is good enough for a world class spy, it sure should be good enough for us—the ones who are even too stubborn to ask for directions in an unknown city.

4. When all hell breaks loose, take a physical distance in order to assess the situation.

Whenever things heat up and conflicts arise, Bond takes a physical distance to judge the situation and adopts his actions accordingly. Whether this means maneuvering himself on a skyscraper’s rooftop or flying a plane upside down, Bond takes every opportunity to see the bigger picture.

When facing stressful situations, we often react automatically, spurring into action. Most often, this reaction is not the most helpful one. Stepping back from a difficult situation, taking distance creates better overview of the situation. Doing this we can see things so much more clearly and rationally and thereby make better decisions.

One caution: do make sure you’ve tightened your safety belt! 

5. Don’t spend too much time thinking about past choices.

Bond rarely gets nostalgic but when he does—like viewing the desert landscape of Morocco—he reminds himself and his companion to not spend too much time thinking about past choices, and drinks to that.

Great advice to remember—as we really can’t get that time and investment back. It’s gone. It was a different time, there were different circumstances. Don’t let it cloud your judgement in whatever is going on in this moment—it’s a thing from the past and let it remain in the past.

James Bond’s my guy—like all of us, “a work in progress” while doing his thing with a vengeance for the greater good of all!



Relephant Read:

10 Life Lessons I Learned from Observing Nature.


Author: Elles Lohuis

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr


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