11 Motivation Lessons from "World War Z"

I am sitting here in the work cafeteria eating a late dinner and about to work on my next design project and the movie "World War Z" is on. Of course I get sucked in a bit and immediately this post came to me. So here we go. Use it how you will and I am sorry for those who have not seen the movie. There are points I make that give away some major plot points. BUT you still have to watch it! It was something to see and experience. Major SPOILER alert.  I have watched this movie at least 10 times and it hits me in the gut every time. Just thinking as a mother of three under the age of 6, what would I do in that situation . I mean they make it seem like it could really happen and that fast. So eye opening.

Anyway, back to business:

Lesson #1: Knowledge is not Enough

Initially, everyone was putting their faith in the knowledge of scientist to figure it out, but it takes a seasoned investigator who has to pull on his previous experiences, knowledge and instincts to get him through. Resourcefulness, Instincts. As soon as that first moment and the truck hits the police officer, Jerry (Brad Pitt) springs into action and never stops until the end. INTENSE. It's beyond survival of the fittest it is also survival of the person with whit. The most determined and most resourceful. Duck tape (check), magazines (check), a gun and a kitchen knife (check), do whatever it takes to get my family out of this apartment alive (Check). Jerry pulled a McGyver and used the magazines for arm and shin guards and taped the knife to the end of the gun and fought like crazy to get his family to safety.

The Takeaway: What do you have around you and how can you use what you have to get the results you need? Draw on your experience. 

Lesson #2: Shed A Little Humor on a Bleak Situation

When the Military Captain in Korea made the joke to turn off your cell phones while they were being attacked slightly lightened the moment.

Take Away - Try to find something positive or funny to diffuse situations when you can.

Lesson #3: Partner Collaborations Matter

Another great scene is when they are in the apartment complex and the wife asks, "How do we know they are coming for us." and Jerry says without a doubt "There Coming." that is trust in someone that he established a relationship with for years. And the impact of new relationships with people (the young boy he met at the apartment complex, he must have inspired because that little boy fought his way out when his father and mother were killed and his father turned zombie tried to kill them all. He also had to rely on the kindness of others and take a chance with trusting complete strangers out of necessity.

Take Away: partners both new and old are essential to your success. Cultivate those relationships whenever you can. Seek them out if you don't have them.

 

Lesson #4: Relationships Matter

Your close circle. Another relationship worth mentioning is Jerry's Wife and how he kept in touch with her the entire time and that was his touch point to humanity and his driving force.

Take Away: Don't lose sight of those important relationships in your life (family, friends, etc. ) Find time to be with them even as you drive forward. Like right now it is 12 a.m. I am working, I am away from my family but I have to get things done. (I went home, hugged the kids and my husband, and then headed back to the office for an all-nighter knowing I would be home early the next day. )

Lesson #5 Picking your Team:

Everyone on the Navy Carrier serves a purpose the general says, they had no room for stragglers or "non-essential personnel". IT was lean and they had to keep it that way to get things done. (how to handle team and pick your team.  - they need to be talented in what they do. "Do you boo-boo do you!" If everyone does what they are great at, the world would run so much more smoother. Picking the right person and staying to your strength is very important. The young scientist that was supposed to figure it all out was given a gun and at the fist sign of danger and Zombies he runs and shoots himself because he slips.

Takeaway: Know your strength and hold your ground. Face your problems instead of running away from them.

Lesson #6 Eliminate Distractions:

Let's talk about distractions and how they can lead to your demise if you let them. Flash to the scene they are on bikes trying to quietly get to the plane ( I told you spoiler alert) and Jerry's wife calls him and the phone ringing causes the zombies to wake up and attack. Another intense scene.

Takeaway: It's pretty obvious. Just remove things that are not necessary and anticipate and isolate those things that may cause distraction along the way. 

Lesson #7: Have Laser Focus and Fearless Drive

Then we can't forget the simplicity of the zombies. I mean it is pure nature how they were laser focused on what they wanted (food) and they would throw themselves over buildings and walls to go after a target with no care of danger to themselves. Almost a complete recklessness that sometimes was successful and other times just epic failure.

Takeaway: Don't give up even when it seems impossible. 

Lesson #8: Be Ready to Adjust and Act Even when Others mess things up.

In the movie, the fall of Israel was due to harmless actions of those not having all of the facts and they were just expressing themselves. Cost the city. Jerry knew but it was out of his control. Had to adjust and rely on the military and his resourcefulness again to get out. And again on the plane…..

Take Away: Make the tough decisions and re-adjust your plans accordingly. Things happen no matter how much you prepare. You can't rest too long, gotta keep moving. Sometimes those tough decisions are painful physically, emotionally, etc for you and or for those around you.

Lesson #9: Take a Chance 

Looking at  the part where Brad Pit injects himself with a deadly virus on a hunch and then subjects himself to the zombies is a perfect example of businesses believing in something and taking action and stepping out on faith to support it. Sometimes you have to gamble on an idea (but make an educated guess based on the facts, your instincts, and as much research as you can come up with.)An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

The Takeaway: The best statement all movie is "Movement Is Life" is that not the truth. My husband and I use this all the time with the kids to get them going in the morning.

Lesson 10: Take Action for what you believe

Once Jerry figured out a possible solution he immediately had to rely on connections to put his plan in action not 100% sure it would work. He also had to face serious, life threatening adversity to see his plan played out. Not to mention he had to convince complete strangers to believe him and also help him. That takes some serious belief in what you are doing. An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Take Away: Don't stop taking actions (no matter how minuscule they are, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.) Occasionally take some major jumps and strides.

Lesson #11: Savor the Success

An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Takeaway is obvious on this one. Seize the moment. Appreciate the win, but keep on moving on to the next thing.