Jackie Chan, the name that always stands out in the world of martial arts and movie industry, is a world-famous action-comedy actor that everybody knows. Jackie’s achievements are tremendous, not just in the movie industry, but also in charity and as an idol for inspiration.
Here are the top 5 precious life lessons you can learn from the master kung fu actor himself.
1. Work Extremely Hard
During an interview, Jackie said it himself, “Why did I become Jackie Chan? Mostly because I work very hard. When people were sleeping, I was training.” He is known for his intense hard work, especially when he was young.
Jackie started learning martial arts and acrobatics as early as age seven. And even after he and his family moved to Australia, he was subjected to a very strict disciplinary routine. Jackie’s road to success is not always a smooth one. Although he already starred in several martial arts movies in his 20’s, there were many that were unsuccessful.
However, that did not discourage him. Instead, he vowed to work harder and continued to make even more movies, which eventually he went on to create his own style by combining action and comedy. And today, Jackie is one of the few Asian actors who has left their mark in the Hollywood.
Thus, success is not easy, but it does not mean that it is impossible. You have to learn from Jackie Chan and adopt his never-give-up spirit. Whenever you fail, try again and be willing to put in the hard work. And eventually, you will find your own path like how Jackie discovered his own movie style.
2. Dare to be Different
Many people know Jackie for his movies but little did most people know that Jackie once worked as the stuntman to Bruce Lee. In the Bruce Lee era, a lot of actors were trying to copy Bruce Lee and make kung fu films like he did. However, that did not work out well.
While there are similarities between Bruce and Jackie, becoming the next Bruce Lee is the last thing that Jackie Chan wanted. Jackie prefers to have his own style rather than being Bruce Lee. And so he told the press, “I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.”
Hence, Jackie started to pursue his own signature style of martial arts and combine kung fu with comedy, which is well-received by the audience even today. And this allows him to create his own trademark movies and leave his mark in the audience’s heart.
Regardless of whom you want to be, you can model and get inspiration from your idol or mentor, but never copy exactly the way they did it. You can look up to your heroes and learn from them, but never try to imitate them or become them because everybody is unique and you should shine in your own way.
3. Success is Not Just About Yourself
Another very important life lesson we all can learn from Jackie Chan is his attitude in treating people. Despite his fame and success, he still cares a lot about his team and his friends. For over 40 years, the Jackie Chan Stunt Team has been by his side film after film, and the team is now in their 8th generation.
Jackie prefers to use his own stuntmen from his team whenever possible and he always promotes his team and treats them like a family. In one of the TV shows in China, a tribute video from all of Jackie’s ex-stuntmen was shown. Each of them gave a tear-filled testimony to Jackie saying that Jackie has been treating them more than just employees because Jackie values the brotherhood between them.
Despite being the boss, Jackie would split the earnings with his assistants and team equally in the early days. He also helped one of his stunt team paid the downpayment for a house and also a car.
To Jackie Chan, success is not just about yourself. You cannot accomplish big goals and dreams if you are all by yourself. You need a team and you must treat your team like a family member because they are the ones that will be responsible for your success.
4. Life is a Series of Continuous Learning
In the 1980’s when Jackie first got to California, he did not know how to speak English. His company purposely arranged him to fly alone to the US to immerse himself in the English-speaking world so that he could learn it as quickly as possible.
And Jackie worked really hard in learning his English. He would listen to the US folk songs, watch English films and TV series again and again just to learn how to pronounce the words properly. At his peak, it was told that he hired four English teachers and spent nine hours a day studying the language.
For many people, language is a big barrier that stops them from moving forward. However, this does not happen to Jackie because he believes that life is a continuous series of learning. Even to this date, he is still learning how to speak and also challenge himself to act in other types of films.
5. Take More Risks When You Are Young
One of the most important life lessons you can learn from Jackie is to take risks when you are young. How do you think Jackie arrived at the Hollywood and make his mark in the movie industry? The answer is that he dares to take a lot of risks when he was young.
He is famous for his dangerous stunts that most people never dare to attempt. There have been many times when he failed at his stunts and almost killed him. He has a lot of broken bones and surgeries, but he never regretted his decisions.
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all,” and she was right. If you want to be extraordinary and live your life to the fullest, you need to take risks, follow your dreams, and do something that normal people never dare to do. Of course, this is not to say that you should do something dangerous like Jackie, but rather, you should follow your dreams and listen to your heart.
If you want to start a business, what is stopping you? If you want to be a great actor like Jackie Chan, accept the risk and take a leap of faith. Even if you fail, it is alright because at least you did it and there will be no regret at the end of your life.