Lucy – “An action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.” – Lucymovie.com
The trailer for Lucy had me riveted. The story of a beautiful, limitlessly intelligent, lethally strong woman who can conquer the world effortlessly had Girl-Power written all over it. I was impatiently awaiting the opening of this new Luc Besson film. Allure, knowledge, and power embodied by Scarlett Johansson is fodder for women’s empowerment and self esteem.
Unfortunately, there were several flaws in Lucy’s all powerful and all knowing character and storyline. The first disappointment was when she gave in to Richard’s, her new boyfriend, request to deliver a suspicious briefcase. She refused several times, knowing it sounded like a shady deal. When he seemingly removed her options, she hastily went along with it.
What Lucy failed to realize is that she was not powerless! She could’ve walked away, called the police, or just created a scene so that others would notice her predicament and take action. Once she gave up and entered the hotel with the briefcase, there was no going back.
She became a victim. Upon escaping her captors, she quickly developed a hero complex. She was motivated by vengeance and protection. She was driven to save others from the Chinese drug lords who threatened her life, and those of countless ravers eager to experience the next generation of designer party drugs.
The unexpected side effect of taking this drug in large quantities is that it causes brain cells to multiply rapidly allowing limitless access to information before it kills the user. Lucy uses that brain power to set things right in the world. But I digress, instead of making this blog a film review and spoiling the ending, I’ll stay true to a Coaching perspective on empowerment. In this sense, she inspired me.
Ladies, know your stuff. Knowledge is power. This is well documented in Lucy. As she gains access to more regions of her brain, she becomes stronger and more powerful. She can overcome anything and is not afraid to take risks. Take your chosen path seriously. Learn as much as you can. Find a mentor or take classes to establish your moxie. Be aware of new information and keep an open mind. Practice new skills. Develop your expertise. Be your best.
Give to others. The redeeming message of the film is Lucy’s gift to humanity. She could have continued to regenerate her body with continued doses of the drug, but instead she chose the ultimate sacrifice in order to empower the world. Martin Seligman, MD the cofounder of Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has clearly documented evidence for the importance of participating in something larger than yourself. “Well-being cannot exist just in your own head,” he writes in his book Flourish. It is, “a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.”
“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” – Maya Angelou
Stay true to yourself. Lucy never wavered in what she believed to be her mission. Once she understood the agenda, the players, and potential consequences she took relentless action to fulfill her goals. She stayed on course with a determination to see it through to the end. Ultimately, she fulfilled a higher purpose which resulted in omnipotence and omnipresence. Had she said, “No!” to Richard from the beginning and meant it, she would’ve spared herself a lot of drama. We also wouldn’t have a movie to review or a blog about empowerment.
What is your mission? Find clarity, meaning, and purpose in all that you pursue. Learn from your mistakes. Accept failure as evidence that you pushed the envelop, stretched outside your comfort zone, and reached for new heights. Get up and try again. Know yourself and what drives you. Seek challenges and opportunities to grow and learn. Your knowledge and mission will inspire others.
“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.” Rainer Maria Rilke
First image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Second image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.