My Three Thoughts on the Movie ‘Inception’

By Chhum Chanrachana,

Photo by Christophe Hautier on Unsplash

If you recognize this spinning top or so-called ‘totem’ above, you might be a fan of the movie Inception like me. This spinner helps the main character, Dom Cobb, to determine whether he’s still dreaming or not. If the spinning top spins without falling, he’s still in the dream. But if it falls, he’s in reality.

Inception (2010) is one of my favorite movies of all time. Let me give you a little summary of the movie in case you haven’t watched it yet:

The movie revolves around the story of Dom Cobb who has the special ability to invade other people’s dreams. He can steal valuable information or ideas through a shared dream, while he and the other person is unconscious or simply sleeping. One day, he gets a mission which requires him to plant an idea in the heir of a big corporate owner. He has to convince the heir that his dad’s company should be dissolved. However, the mission is the toughest one yet, and there are challenges along the way. Those are the exciting parts of the movie.

©Cheng Shing Yan /2010/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Since I was in high school, I always had a thing for psychological thriller movies. These movies aren’t only for entertainment, but they also give us some important thoughts to feed our mind. Inception is one of them. There are three interesting lessons I’ve got from Inception that I would like to share with all of you. There’s a little spoiler in each lesson. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should watch it first before continuing.

  1. “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of idea could grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” – Dom Cobb
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

In the movie, Cobb tries to connect his dream with other people and convince them of an idea by bringing it up in their dream. Even when they wake up, the small idea still remains there, and it will start growing for better or worse.

In reality, many influencers or groups gain their supporter or recruit their members in a similar way. They spread an idea repeatedly and make the people around them start to believe in it. That’s when the people decide to join the group. Social media has made the ideas spread faster than ever. Once you see the same information again and again, there is a high possibility that the idea could grow on you.

Because an idea is a powerful tool that can define you, you have to be aware of and choose which ideas you should or should not keep with you. It is related to the people around you as well. You should let go of the so-called “toxic people” before they feed you with only negative ideas which might have a major influence on your life. Also, you have to be aware of the information you consume on social media. The idea could be dangerous and harm you if you leave it unchecked.

Expose yourself to a positive environment and carefully determine what kind of idea seeds you want to plant in your head.

  1. You should learn to let go of the past
©Flickr /2011/CC BY 2.0

Cobb blames himself for introducing the dream world he created to his wife. Later, she becomes totally insane and can no longer differentiate between the dream and reality, and she eventually commits suicide. Because of his guilt, she always appears in his dreams and interrupts his missions.

Even though you broke the glass, it doesn’t mean that you have to hurt yourself by putting those broken pieces together. A lot of people, including me, suffer from this self-blaming act. I have often kept blaming myself for what had gone in the past even though I was already forgiven. Does blaming yourself make you feel any better? If not, why do you always do it?

You regret  what you have done but at the same time you have to let it go as well. The only thing you could do is to prevent the same mistake from happening again. You should give yourself a second chance. After others forgive you, it’s your turn to forgive yourself.

If there is nothing you could do with the mistake you’ve already committed, you should learn from it. Don’t cling on it too much. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have to let the past go sometimes for a happier life.

  1. You have to keep your dream and reality in check
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

In the movie, there is the final stage of the dream referred to as a “Limbo”. The stage where the dreamer cannot get out of their dream since they confuse the dream with reality, and finally they end up sleeping forever in the real world.

In real life, a lot of people get lost in their dream. They don’t know when to start taking action. They just keep dreaming without realizing the dream. It is no different from being trapped in the Limbo.

A dream could be a positive encouragement that helps you to take the steps in doing something. There is nothing wrong with being a big dreamer. It’s about how those big dreamers deal with their thoughts. Sadly, some people are only making themselves busy thinking about their dream while doing nothing to achieve it. Imagination doesn’t make you succeed, but the action you take.

There might be times you get lost in your thoughts. However, you have to tap yourself out of it from time to time. We are now living in reality not the dream. No matter how cool the idea is, it will all be useless if you don’t work on it. After knowing what you want to achieve or what your dream is, it is time to make that dream of yours come true!

Lastly, I do hope that these three lessons are beneficial to all of you in one way or another. For those who used to watch Inception, are there any other valuable lessons that you’ve got from the movie? I would love to hear all of them from you!  🙂

Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.


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