What life lessons have you learned from watching Game of Thrones?
Can the adventures and mishaps of fictional characters guide you?
And even be applied to your very real life? Do the heavily dramatized lives of high born Westerosi equate to your own first world problems?
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And for the record, I’m talking beyond never go North of the Wall or go South if your last name is Stark and never ever trust Little Finger or Cersei Lannister. Clearly, this is known.
I definitely think so! Sometimes wisdom comes from your own experience, learning from those around us, and other times from the characters you love and love to hate in the shows, books, and movies you consume.
Okay sure, I’m not being chased by white walkers or living in a world where magic and dragons are real (that I know of), but at the core of it all, we’re all just people trying to make it in life, achieve our dreams and to live out our purpose.
I will concede that not every character has with good intentions or is trying to make the world a better place, but real talks, does it get any more realistic than that?
We all have our own painful character flaws, strengths, and weaknesses just like they do. Maybe the stacks aren’t as high as the end of humanity and the threat of the long night never ending, but hey, we barely had a summer this year. We’ve all got problems!
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With seven seasons on HBO and five epic Song of Ice and Fire novels (so far) by George R.R. Martin, I know that I’ve learned many lessons that can be allied to my relationship, my business and how I pursue my own dreams. Season 7 of Game of Thrones is no exception, with epic one liners that provide for some amazing life lessons.
Life Lesson #1: Value Your Own Opinion
In Season 7 of Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister tells her brother Jaime that, “a lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.” She’s quoting her father Tywin Lannister and using this as a justification for doing whatever the hell she pleases, with whom ever (almost want to say “womb ever”) she pleases. “Like of course, our father would support what I’m doing, he said so. Forget what the people of the Kingdom I’m ruling think about us.”
It is so clear that Cersei Lannister, just like her father, doesn’t care about what anyone thinks or even says about her, to her face or behind her back. Right or wrong, her character is the embodiment of “just do you,” regardless of the consequences (but we’re not focusing on that here) or society and even her own family members think.
Whose opinion do you value the most? Your own or someone else’s?
Does what other people think or dare I say, say about you, bother you?
Perhaps it haunts you? Does it echo in your mind days after it was said? Do you just read their message over and over again? Make you feel less than or like you need to prove yourself to them?
Everyone has an opinion, and in some cases no matter what you do, how much you accomplish (like she secured the most sought after prize in the world, first time ever for a woman!) or how in love with your life you are, you can’t please or even satisfy everyone. They won’t believe in you, they just won’t support you, and they will not remain by your side.
Don’t Care About What People Think Like the Lion
Sure, we all can’t be stone heart bitches like Cersei, nor should we aspire to be. But no matter what you might think about her, she has some serious grit and strength that we could do well to emulate.
For most of it’s hard when that disapproval comes from someone you love or respect. Especially from a sly or clever comment here and there about your job, your wealth, status, behavior or possessions. Maybe in a group chat, or even to your face.
I know it hurts and is hella disappointing when the person who should be by default on your team and in your corner, NO MATTER WHAT, just isn’t.
If you’re always trying to meet the requirements of society or someone else you will always fall short. There is no ultimate checklist of boxes you need to check to arrive at success. So decide that you’ve arrived already!
Keep your head up, be the lion and the lion bows to no one. Everyone else can support, or get to walking (or riding?).
It’s the classic question your parents ask you when you’re a kid: are you a follower or a leader? Do you care what people think about you?
So choose, are you a lion or a sheep? Let the naysayers, the doubters and haters fall behind you, they’re the sheep not you.
Life Lesson #2: You Need a Supportive Team
Sansa Stark speaks this powerful quote to her sister Arya that is also a call back to the wisdom of her father, the late Lord Eddard Stark. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” Yes, Winter is coming like he constantly warned them, heck it’s here and if you want to survive you need your pack aka your family. This quote was both a foreshadowing and an explainer for why her family sticks together against all outside threats.
The Stark children are a pack, and it’s their connection to each other that will hopefully see the remaining siblings to the end. One could even argue that every Stark that died, died because they were separated from the pack. The Starks represent unity, group mentality and the power of membership. They know they are stronger together.
Who’s got your back when things get tough (and not just when they’re “easy”)? Who do you roll with?
Is there someone in your corner? Do you have a team, a support system or people you can rely on?
You need a pack that has your back. You will not make it to the end on your own.
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Join the Pack to Make It like the Wolfs
Many people set off on the journey of building a life they love, but sadly not everyone arrives at their intended destination. Why is that? Why does one great house make it to the finale when another doesn’t?
A house divided falls, just like the one that is separated.
One of the major reasons you won’t succeed is that you are trying to go at it all alone. Yes, you need to be the lion, but no matter how powerful a lion is, they still belong to a pride.
I can’t even tell you how many times in any given week that I feel like giving up, or I’m not making progress and wondering if I can even keep pace. I sometimes wonder what will happen first, me making it or me falling completely apart?
Do you know the feeling? What do you do when you’re having a moment of defeat?
You need to find your pack and keep them around you to protect you, to protect each other. You’ve got their back and they’ve got yours.
Roll tight with your squad! Stay connected on the regular, don’t get separated.
Life Lesson #3: Just Take Action Yourself
These words are spoken by the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen, to Tyrion Lannister her hand (aka her #1 advisor). She has had enough of his failed, albeit clever plans, that have put her in a losing position. She says this more than once as validation for why she must take direct action against her enemies herself. Even if it leaves her exposed, she refuses to wait on others to bring her victory or to do nothing.
Daenerys is an action taker. As much as she relies on her team of advisors, supporters, and army to secure her position, she knows that in critical moments, victory often depends on her own actions. She isn’t afraid to get up and get it done herself. Yes, this can also lead her to be impulsive and careless, but we’re not talking about that either. You could argue that she doesn’t listen to counsel, but she realizes that the decision is always hers and she must make it.
Are you a doer or a planner?
Will you do it now or maybe later (ie. NEVER)? Are you too busy planning?
Have you been listening to the words and wisdom of others or are you implementing what you’ve learned and KNOW already? Maybe you keep giving yourself the excuse that you need to plan more, be smarter, be clever. Are you always saying, “I’m just not ready!”
Stop Planning and Take Action like the Dragon
What you need more than any plan, is to actually take action.
There comes a point in your own story that you need to just get up and take action. Get in the game (what kind of game, you decide). All the wisdom and knowledge in the world is useless unless it is applied.
Your entire life has prepared you for right now. Every accomplishment and every experience you have ever had have led you to this moment. Right now, you are ready! Stop believing that you’re not.
There’s a time to plan, but it’s always the right time to take action, even if it’s a tiny step in the right direction.
To be the dragon, you must take action. Take the direct route.
Claim the ‘Iron Throne’ in Your Life
Simply put: be the lion, be the wolf, and (yes and) be the dragon.
Each character described above has their own strengths:
- the lion is the leader,
- the wolf is a member,
- and the dragon an action-taker.
There will be times in your life you will need to be all three, and where each of these valuable lessons can be applied to your professional and personal life. If you want to “sit on the iron throne” of your dreams then you need to be the dragon, the wolf, and the lion.
When a king or queen is formally introduced on Game of Thrones, it is done with their full title that lists their accomplishments and holdings. For example, “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.”
I want you to do the same for yourself. Claim your achievements, claim your position, claim your future. If you ever want to be victorious in your own battles you face on the journey to success, claim the metaphorical “Iron Throne” in your life, you need to believe it’s yours by right. That you’ve already won and that no one can stop you. Include anything you’re proud of and makes you feel successful (even if it feels silly!)
Let me go first, “Nadalie Bardo, Founder of It’s All You Boo, Badass Blogger and all Around Hustler, Photographer and Self-Taught Graphic and Web Designer, The Undefeated. The rightful heir to her amazing future.”‘
Remember, you’re the dragon, you are the wolf and you are the lion. Start acting like it.
What’s your badass Westoriosi title?
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