Life Lessons from Fast & Furious – Part 1 of 3

I am not a big fan of fast cars and high-speed robberies, but when I first saw the movie The Fast and the Furious way back in 2001 I instantly connected with it. My core resonated with the profound depth of perspectives the series shared right from the first part in 2001 to its seemingly last installment in 2017. And, no kidding, I was only 22 years old when I first watched that movie. Since then I have watched and rewatched these movies over and over again, not only reminding me of these important messages but also often creating newer and deeper shifts.

Through this 3-part article series, I want to bring out some of those F&F moments, which have great wisdom if you choose to look at it more than just a crime/thriller movie label. If you are an F&F aficionado, you would also reminisce some of those years when you first watched the movie. If not, just ride along and grab a lesson or two 🙂 Either way, you win.

The Fast and the Furious – The Original (2001)

“It’s Not How You Stand By Your Car. It’s How You Race Your Car.” This statement was made by a character named Edwin.

We often try to project an outward image of ourselves that is so distant from who we really are on the inside. We do this for many reasons: our need for acceptance, the fear of rejection, the fear of missing out, and the need for external validation. What this quote teaches me is to be true to myself, even when no one is watching.

“You almost had me? You never had me. You never had your car.” This was a part of the exchange of words between Dominic (Dom) Toretto and Brian O’Conner after Dom won the race and cleared the misguided assumption that Brian held in his mind.

We all dream about being successful and believe that success is often overnight. We define success by looking at other people’s success stories and we want all of that instantly, not realizing that what others share is only part of the story. It’s not the full story – one that’s marked with pain, challenges, consistency, practice, and action-oriented work. The truth is success takes time. Everything else you hear about success is a myth.

“Ask any racer… It does not matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s Winning!” Another Dom’s quote from the same movie sequence. 

This quote teaches me about attitude, which simply is a point of view with which you choose to see your life and everything in it. Attitude is a matter of choice and not a compromise that we should make when it comes to working on our goals, and in general, our life.

“You can have any brew you want as long as it’s a Corona.” The entire movie series has been devoted to this single beer brand, and it starts in the first part with this now-iconic line said by Dom, after returning home managing an escape from a police raid.

Have you ever tried finding your way through a real maze, the one that’s marked with tall bushes or trees? The one where you simply have to navigate by luck or trial and error until you find your way out. The same is often applicable to us when we work on our goals because we end up going in circles or coming to a dead end. We end up feeling lost and even quitting altogether. Corona here is a metaphor for having a guiding vision that ensures all the actions you’re taking are aligned and focused. Having this overarching vision helps us stay put even when we have to change our approach because something isn’t working the way we intended it to work.

“I live my life a quarter-mile at a time, nothing else matters. For those 10 secs or less, I am free.” This is one of my favorites from Dom, who is living true to his patriarchal role.

More often than not, I find myself preoccupied with the past or the future, and denying the present. This quote reminds me to be present. It also reminds me of the two most powerful words in the universe – I AM.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

“You need to stop blaming me for your mistakes and Roman Pearce needs to start taking responsibility for his own actions.” This exchange was between Brian and his childhood friend, Roman Pearce when Brian approached him to nail a crooked businessman, Carter Verone, in the second installment of the movie series.

How often do we end up blaming everything external to us for whatever wrong is going on in our lives? 100% of the time, isn’t it? One of the things that I have come to realize is that it is important to start taking responsibility for everything that I do and everything that I don’t do in my life. Once I start owning that responsibility, I automatically move into a position of power – the power to influence my choices and actions rather than sulking around.

“I’m trying to eat all I can, while I can…” This is a line extracted from a dialogue between Roman Pearce and Brian when the former responds to an inquiry about his unusually large eating habits. To give you a brief context of this line, in the movie Roman Pearce is currently serving parole and has been to jail several times. He knows the kind of shitty grub he gets in there and is also quite confident that he’d again end up in jail or worse, dead. So, while he is devouring all the good food that’s laid out in front of him, Brain notices his unusual eating behavior.

This line may come across as said by someone who is self-centered and greedy. But, I try to look at it from another perspective. As humans, we all are whole and complete, and the behaviors we exhibit are wholly based on the state of our mind and the resources we have access to at that moment. Every behavior, however wrong it may seem, has a positive intention. This statement reminds me to acknowledge this underlying fact and to leave all my judgments outside the door when I interact with my family, my friends, and my coaching clients. I fully know that if the person had access to better resources, his behavior would be different.

Enjoyin’ the ride? In my next article, I will share more quotes and snippets from the future installments of the movie series. If you like this article, do give me a Hell Ya! in the comments below. Also, do let me know if there is your particular favorite quote from the movie. A’ighty!

3 thoughts on “Life Lessons from Fast & Furious – Part 1 of 3

  1. Wonderful post. So much relate-able but much much more – inspiring.
    The take away from any experience (scene) is upto each individual. And these are wonderful take aways from an amazing series.
    Keep posting!

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