What films have taught us about learning

I am not a film buff – in fact, I rarely watch movies (that’s blasphemy in the Inspire office but I’ve kept my secret well under wraps until now). My best friend has a degree in Film Studies and my brother is… well, lazy and therefore watches a ton of films and so I am rather the black sheep of my own group of friends and family.

After being forced, bribed and blackmailed into watching too many films over the Christmas break, it got me to thinking about how films shape us and instil beliefs that we otherwise wouldn’t have. As a self-confessed workaholic (read: I don’t have enough friends and/or hobbies), learning and development is always in the back of my mind too so the logical step was to connect the two: what have films taught us about the importance of learning?

Let’s start with a classic – Goodwill Hunting. I must confess I was not a huge fan of this film, but then again, I know nothing about films and this one is well regarded as a must-watch. Whilst at the beginning of the film, the message could easily be construed as ‘don’t go to class, mop the floors instead’ (kids, this is wrong, go to school), in actual fact Matt Damon’s character proves that self-learning is just as important as academic teaching and you need to know your own motivations in order to make the most of it. It also teaches you to not define a human by their job, so they’re throwing out life lessons left, right and centre!

Music of the Heart, a Meryl Streep film from the late 90s (side note: Meryl is a total babe and can do no wrong) is a story of how teaching can change your life and mentality, and influence those around you for years to come. Often we think of learning new things as a way to enhance ourselves, but it’s worth thinking about how you can use that new knowledge to inspire those around you.

The Theory of Everything came out in 2014 and as well as teaching me how to sob discreetly in the cinema, it also proves that you should push yourself. Break through the boundaries that others set for you, and believe in your own ability to overcome even the most seemingly impossible obstacles.

And we can’t forget School of Rock, the ultimate lesson in how to be a badass rocker and somehow still pass the grade. The key is Stevie Nicks, identity fraud and a jauntily knotted school tie. Incorporate those into your daily work and watch the magic happen, I dare you.

Learning is something that we take for granted; being able to increase our knowledge or skills in an area that we are interested in is a huuuuuge opportunity and we should embrace it! Companies are spending more on L&D for their staff too, and there is endless content out there for you to discover in both your personal and professional lives – although at least if it’s professional, you don’t have to pay!

So there you go – if you needed another reason to go and watch films, you can claim it’s educational and for anyone who disagrees, re-direct them here to read the ramblings of someone who in actual fact, probably agrees with them anyway.

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