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Confidence is the self-fulfilling emotion

Believing in yourself can do more than just inflate your ego

Growing up, many of the lessons we absorb through our childhoods, whether fiction or reality, can be applied to various instances of our lives. 

 I learned one such lesson, when I watched Kung Fu Panda as a child. The story goes with Po, a panda who serves noodles and dreams of becoming a kung fu master. He has no prior experience with kung fu and his dream just seems like a distant reality. Until one day, news emerges that Tai Lung, a dangerous and evil snow leopard is about to escape prison and Po must rise up to become the Dragon Warrior, receive the Dragon Scroll and save his city.  

In this image: The Kung Fu Panda title screen.
After watching Kung Fu Panda, Veer Gandhi learned a vital lesson: the power of believing in yourself is important. Photo by Chris Stoodley

Power comes from within

After some intense training and preparation for a battle with Tai Lung, Po gets the scroll and opens it, expecting to see the key to all power. Instead, he sees a reflection of himself in the scroll, nothing else. Po’s realization that the scroll reflected his own picture because the boundless power promised by the Dragon Scroll lies inside himself and not the scroll is a revelation that always stuck with me. That knowledge was all it took to provide Po with the confidence and energy to make a heroic return to saving his coach and conquering the tyrant Tai Lung. 

        The moral of the story was that, to make something special, you need to believe that it was special. In Po’s case, Po had to believe that he was special, and that boundless power and strength were inside of him all along. It’s a beautiful story that depicts the importance and the power of believing in yourself. This was a vital lesson that I now know from the movie but ultimately, as a kid, I treated it as merely a fictional story, not realizing how important the lesson really was. 

On Nov. 8, 2016, that lesson became a reality.  

To the surprise and astonishment of millions of people across the globe and within the United States, including myself, Donald Trump won the election for presidency of the United States. A historic moment was created from what appeared to be a joke campaign at the very beginning.  

Donald Trump had his own Dragon Scroll 

Trump may have had many factors working against him right from the beginning of his campaign. He was, for instance, inexperienced in politics, let alone for a position as prestigious as the presidents’ office. He was also dubbed as a clown and his ideas and plans were often disparaged and mocked. Furthermore, he was treated as a joke and his own past actions didn’t exactly favor him for a presidential run. The one thing Donald Trump did not lack, though, was confidence. Confidence in his ability to win the elections and winning America’s trust to run the country despite the tremendous odds stacked against him.   

 His Dragon Scroll was his unrelenting self-belief and confidence, and it is reflected through the time he put into campaigning across the country. During the overall campaign period, which lasts about 17 months, he hosted 323 rallies across America. This amounts to about 19 rallies every month and doesn’t even account for holidays, rest days, debate days, travel time, extra interviews etc. The amount of physical and mental energy required to do this is incredible. 

Now just imagine for one second, if Trump had believed that the odds he faced could not be defeated. Would he then have invested the same amounts of energy throughout the campaign? I don’t think so. In my opinion, his confidence in his ability to win the elections fueled him and became a testament to the time he put into a campaign where most believed that he would lose.  

Although two completely different characters, the force in which they pursued their dreams worked the same. These two stories taught me the importance of believing in yourself, especially in the real world. It can prove to be your greatest asset against the most insurmountable challenges and is often the only thing that separates you from achieving your greatest dreams. If you ever doubt yourself, just remember that if Trump could become president, then nothing is impossible. Believing in yourself may not protect you from impeachment, however. 

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