Life Lessons from Fast & Furious – Part 2 of 3

In the first installment of this 3-part series, I covered some of the movie dialogues from the first 2 parts of the Fast and Furious series. These conversations have touched me on a whole different level, and I hope it has created some space within you for personal growth and transformation. In this article, I will gather more wisdom from the next 2 editions of the movie – The Tokyo Drift and Fast 4.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2005)

“What’s the point of the race? If I were to race, it’d be for something important, why else do it at all?” This was the response by Han Lue, who is a street racer and mentor to the protagonist of Tokyo Drift, Sean Boswell, a seventeen year-old high school student living as an American-expat in Tokyo, Japan. It was part of the conversation between the two of them, when Sean asked Han whether he would race against the Drift King.

Being Sean’s mentor in the movie, and an excellent drift-racer himself, Han declined to race against his business partner and the then Drift King, Takashi. Han comes across as an enlightened being, who is clear on his priorities and chooses his focus areas well. He did not want to do something just to prove to the society. In our world enamoured by social media, we often compare our real lives with the curated lives of others, and end up doing things just to prove something, something that doesn’t even matter. We try to gain short-lived victories in our everyday lives in order to feel good about ourselves. We live in a world of constant comparison and competition, a rat race, trying to feed our ego and our derived sense of identity. Honestly, what’s the point?

“It’s who you choose to be around you that you know who you are.” This is another Han quote, part of a deep conversation between Sean and him, as the two become good friends, and Han takes him under his wing and teaches him how to drift.

You might have heard the famous Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” and be quick to assume that this Han quote is of the same flavor with a different twist. Well, yes and no! No because of the way this quote is framed. According to author Steve Chandler, there are two basic ways of being, and you are either one way or the other at any given point of time. One way, as he calls out is being a victim of your life situations and circumstances. The other way, the one that reinvents you, is being an owner, taking full responsibility for your life. So, while Jim Rohn’s famous quote and Han’s categorical statement mean the same thing, Han’s message puts him in the owner’s seat and a position of choice. It tells you that the power is not out there. It is in you.

“One car in exchange for knowing what’s a man’s made of; that’s a price I can live with.” More of Han’s wise words from the same movie sequence.

This quote nudges me to always act from the highest and purest levels of my character and values – at all times and in all situations. It also reminds me of Dwight Moody’s quote, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me.” In today’s world of digital diarrhea it is increasingly important to be conscious of your integrity, character and actions.

“Life’s simple. You make choices and you don’t look back.” Han with another set of wise words from his bag of wisdom.

We often live with a tunnel-vision view of our life, always regretting something that has happened to us in the past – a wrong decision, a failure, a broken relationship, loss of money. We keep lugging all this baggage from our past, which not only slows us down, but also influences a lot of the current choices we tend to make. We keep drinking the wine from the same old glass for years and years to come. Life’s simple and is not meant to be complicated. It is we who make it complicated and entwined with our past. Present moment awareness is all that is needed to live an exponentially good life. It leads to better awareness, which further leads to better and well-informed choices leading to better results.

“I made myself an outsider, without even thinking about it. But I realize now, outsider or insider, it didn’t really matter. All it matters is knowing what you really want, and going after it.” These words came from Sean Boswell on a date conversation with Neela, the girl from the movie.

Our society has a specific yardstick for measuring our success. And, many people adhere to this yardstick all their lives. Robin Sharma says, “The only place you will reach if you follow the crowd is the exit!” Yet, we blindly accept all of the rules and standards set by our society, and create goals to completely align ourselves with them. We ask for permission. We seek validation. We seek buy-in. We follow the herd mentality even without fully knowing what we really, really want. It takes courage (a whole lot of courage) to stand up against the society’s yardstick for success and create success on your own terms by saying yes to yourself. Once you take that mask off, the one that your society tells you to wear, it’s no longer about them, it’s about you and what you really want. So, say ‘Yes’ to yourself and go after it.

“Sean, I am your father. I am responsible for your well-being. And, I am responsible for my mess. I gotta do this!” This is part of the conversation between Sean and his father as the movie approaches its climax.

We are always party to everything good that happens around us, always wanting to take credit for something good, but the moment things start to fall apart, we distance ourselves from it. We simply decline taking any responsibility for our mess and start pointing outward. Taking 100% responsibility puts you at cause and not at effect, puts you at choice and not at obligation, puts you at design and not at default. This dialogue between a father and a son reminds me that there is great power in accepting your vulnerabilities and mistakes, and that power puts you in the driver’s seat of your life’s journey. It reinforces the fact that Hal Elrod so beautifully quoted, “The moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.”

Fast and Furious 4 (2009)

“Dom, how long have we been doing this? And now all of a sudden from nowhere, it’s too dangerous! Come on.. We’ll figure it out… we always do!” This is a midnight conversation between Letty Ortiz (Dom’s wife) and Dom on the beaches of the Dominican Republic after the team pulled off a dramatic hijack job of the fuel tankers. It is a conversation when Dom begins to suspect that the police are hot on their trail and reckons that he should move away from Letty to protect her from the police.

Our behaviors are primarily driven by the resources we have access to in the given moment. By resources, I mean everything that is available to us that facilitates the behaviors we exhibit. This includes our thoughts, our state of mind, our emotions, our physiology, our past experiences, our environments, our loved ones, etc. One of the strongest resource that is always available to us is our intuition. More often than not, we tend to discard our instinct, the voice that almost always seems to know what it right for us. This Letty-Dom conversation reminds me of this super-resource I have access to all the time, my intuition. And, with my intuition by my side, I know I will figure it out!

“Maybe you are not the good guy pretending to be the bad guy. Maybe you are the bad guy pretending to be the good guy. You ever think about that?” Brian notices Mia (Dom’s sister) being picked up by officer Stasiak and brought to the FBI office. He then takes her to a restaurant where this conversation happens.

Brian brought Mia out to the restaurant to tell her to stay away from Dom, so that she stays out of trouble. He then tried to justify himself why he did what he did. Mia listened and then interrupted with a powerful question. This conversation reminds me of my job as a life coach not to buy into the stories my clients bring to me, but to open them up to a different perspective and help them to live into more powerful stories.

Hey.. Hey… yo! Where do you think they are takin’ us? Dun’t matter. All just along for the ride now…” This is a brief exchange of words between two other racers and Dom, as they are being shipped inside a cargo trailer to complete a job they signed up for.

Part of our brain is still ancient. It consists of the amygdala, which forms a part of the limbic system within the brain, and is responsible for our survival instincts and mainly the fear that we often live with today. Why is it called the ancient brain? Because it hasn’t really evolved since the first humans walked our planet. It still operates from a sense of danger and scarcity, the very thing it did thousands of years ago to protect our ancestors from any lurking danger that prevailed back then. And because of its constant preoccupation in negativity, it keeps you in a constant cycle of disempowering what-ifs: What if this doesn’t work? What if I can’t do it? What if people laugh at me? What if I fail? What if …? Because it is predominant, we get pulled into a negative thought-emotion cycle. A less known fact, which is clearly demonstrated by Dom’s response, “Dun’t matter. All just along for the ride now…,” is that coincidentally, the same amygdala is also responsible for excitement and curiosity. If we are just able to flip the switch on this one (and kids do it with utmost grace,) we can fill ourselves with excitement and curiosity about what’s coming next, instead of living a shell of fear.

“One thing I learned from Dom is that… …nothing really matters unless you have a code. And, what’s your code, Brian?” A conversation between Brian and Mia, after Brian contacts Mia in Los Angeles, to inform her about Dom’s bullet injury. 

Do you have a code in life? Do you even know what’s a code? Dom might be a criminal by definition, but is a person of a profound code – the one that drives all of his intentions, focus and actions. Money is not his primary focus. When Brian learns about Dom’s life code – the one around family, friends, care and responsibility, his admiration for that person grows. And, at the same time, a deep awareness about creating his code starts to develop inside him. This quote reminds me to keep coming back to my life code, which is built around integrity, holding the space, taking responsibility, powerful daily habits, and nurturing my circles of influence. If you don’t have one yet, it’s about time you start creating one!

That’s all folks, for this installment! I hope these words of wisdom continue to grow the flame inside you and create space for the best transformation to happen, so that you elevate your life and unleash your potential!

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