Happy September 1st, folks! Fall gets us back into grind mode, so I thought I would jumpstart this month by sharing the life lessons I learned from Straight Outta Compton *drops mic.*
I went to see the film for a second time, because clearly I’m not obsessed or anything. Not only is it an entertaining and relevant movie for today’s times, but there are also many messages to take away from it. Mostly, it reinforces concepts that start right in that intelligent head of yours.
On the surface, you wouldn’t think a movie about gangsta reality rap, hood lifestyle and groupie galore could teach you valuable lessons on how to get your mind and life right. Greatness comes in all shapes and sizes, friends, likewise we shan’t judge a movie by its genre. There are several noteworthy takeaways from the flick, however I’ve narrowed it down to my top 3. Let’s take a look at the 3 life lessons worth embracing from Straight Outta Compton:
Confidence demands that you want the best for yourself and you believe that you deserve it. In the beginning of the film, Dre and his mother get into an argument about him not being on the right path. His brother comes to their mom’s defense saying that she wants the best for him, and Dre responds:
I want the best for me too.
You have to want the best for yourself, first and foremost, and this means not settling for someone else’s expectations of how you should live. Sometimes family and friends have good intentions, but don’t always know the purpose living within you, and quite often we don’t even know it ourselves. Once we believe in our purpose and accept responsibility for it, nothing can stop us from achieving our greatness. We have to be confident that no matter what, we will get to where we want to be.
See the Vision, Feel the Vision
See yourself where you want to be, feel yourself where you want to be. On top of Dre’s self confidence, he already envisioned himself having a great impact on the hip hop industry, and he didn’t let anyone sway his stance, particularly people who were small thinkers. After recording their first track, Dre’s boss dumps his negative thoughts onto the project to discredit the creativity that was born. Leading Dre to say:
He ain’t got no vision.
Avoid listening to the dreamless, they will try to keep you stuck. We gotta shake ’em off, and hold onto our dreams dearly. Not only do we have to see it, but experience the vision down to the details of exactly what we want. Get specific. If you want a new car, see yourself cruising down the street in your ’64, or the Range Rover with the tinted windows and black-matte paint in my case. Seriously, get down to the nitty gritty, feel your vision as if you’re already there and don’t let anyone deter you.
Know Your Worth
When Dre decides to leave Death Row records and start his own company, Suge Knight tells him he can’t take anything with him. No money, no artists? No problem. Dre doesn’t see this as an obstacle because he had a strong sense of self worth and he believed in the value of his talents. Dre finally comes to the realization that Suge’s company (pun intended) was draining his energy, and states:
You can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Sometimes we think money and riches can give us happiness. I’ll admit that a new Celine bag would put a hefty smile on my face. However, if we don’t place real value on our gifts, essentially we’ll be stealing from ourselves. Never should we sell our souls for new Red Bottom soles nor allow our visions to become tainted with someone else’s poisonous paint. Know what you will and will not stand for. Listen to your spirit and pay attention to the energy around you. Don’t sacrifice your self worth for anyone because you, my dear, are priceless!
With confidence, vision and a strong sense of self worth, we become an unstoppable force: the creative composers of our reality. I encourage you to check out the film if you haven’t yet, and see what other hidden gems you can find. I’d love to hear ’em!