We are pretty big fans of movies here at Southeast Psych. We are also fans of psychology. We’ve got a blog series called More Than a Movie, where we take a look at some life lessons you can learn from the big screen. I recently saw World War Z and these are the 7 lessons I learned.
- Always have a plan – Brad Pitt’s character Gerry Lane always knew his next move and what he needed to get him there. He was constantly thinking of the resources required and who could help him no matter where he was.
- Stay Calm in crisis – One of my favorite parts about the movie was how smart and strategic Gerry Lane was. He was able to take an immediate step back from whatever was happening and remain completely calm, collected, and positive. Watching him give instructions to someone in a state of sheer panic while his demeanor remained unchanged was pretty impressive.
- Family first – Gerry was involved in some pretty dangerous work before he settled down and became a dad. Once his family was around, they became the only thing that mattered and everything he did was for them. Even when the stakes were high and there was a potential that he wouldn’t make it, Gerry was still thinking about his family (think the scene where he runs out on the ledge of the building). It was clear from the start when Gerry told his daughters his job was flipping pancakes for them every morning.
- Always be aware of your surroundings – The most successful characters in the zombie outbreak were the ones with the highest situational awareness. In order to get to the bottom of the virus, Gerry had to be in a state of constant surveillance to find the clues and missing links that mattered. Another great scene demonstrating his keen observation is when he figured out just how long the infection takes to set in.
- Be ready to improvise – Having a plan was crucial throughout the movie, but things never went perfectly. There will be obstacles and curveballs no matter what. Flexibility and on the fly problem solving became a matter of life and death; the scene that comes to mind is Gerry on the plane and his counterintuitive solution to the imminent threat on board.
- Teams should be a cohesive unit – The military team that supported Gerry Lane was a tight group of soldiers where everyone had their own role and function. Along with military specialists, they had scientists and investigators to round out the squad. In order to survive they had to act as one and put others’ need before their own. They combined their skill sets in order to form the best possible unit.
- Buckle Up – It could save your life.
“If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun.”
More Than a Movie: Star Trek
More Than a Movie: The Great Gatsby