14 – Cool Runnings

a couple of years ago

This week I watched Cool Runnings the Disney movie about the Jamaican Bobsled team. Even though this came out during a time that would have put me at the appropriate age to watch it, this week was the first time I watched it. Crazy! Guess it was just the right time to apply the concepts I’m learning in the Master Key Experience to themes in the movie.


Derice – the main character and leader of the bobsled team
Sanka – Derese’s best friend & local box car champion
Yul – a beast of a fellow who had his eye on escaping Jamaica by any means necessary
Junior – another Olympian hopeful who tripped up during 100m trials, seemingly crushing Derice’s and Jule’s dreams of being Olympians

Definite Major Purpose

Derice’s Definite Major Purpose was to compete in the Olympics.
Sanka’s…mmmm….not really sure about this one.
Yul’s was to get out of Jamaica.
Junior’s was to forge his own path and be an Olympian.

A Knowing

The most prominent feature that stuck out for me was that Derice had a strong knowing of who he was. “I’m not a boxer, I’m a runner.” “I was born to compete in the Olympics.”

Derice may have been the most vocal, but even Junior knew he was also destined for the Olympics. He sold his dad’s car and defied his orders to leave the Olympics and become a stock broker. He knew his heart had led him to the right place and he was exactly where he was supposed to be.

Opportunity Knocks

Derice could have let his dreams of competing in that years Summer Games vanish after he didn’t qualify. But he heard opportunity knocking when meeting with Mr. Coolidge, the Olympic representative for Jamaica. Opportunity was knocking and when he answered the door, it said, “Become an Olympian with bobsledding.” He didn’t even know what bobsledding was!

What I liked about that scene was that he wasn’t stubborn about getting to the Olympics in the way he thought he would get there. He was open to the other ways of getting there. How often do we get stuck on thinking something has to happen exactly the way we think it should? Sometimes, by staying flexible, opportunity may be knocking. We just have to listen and open the door.

Positive Mental Attitude

There were lots of examples of the team having a positive mental attitude. Derice tried over and over again to convince Irv to coach them to bobsled. Derice wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Irv asked him at one point, “Do the words give up mean anything to you?” and Derice responded, “Not a thing.”

I love that response!

Plan of Action

The team had a plan to get to the Olympics. Practice, practice, practice! As the team was learning the push start, they tried over and over again. Starting, crashing, going back up the hill. Starting, crashing, going back up the hill. Even though it was a lot of work, they kept at it.

I would say another plan of action was to follow the instructions of the expert without questioning everything or needing to understand the “why” behind the coach’s crazy instructions. They just did as the expert instructed them to do.

In the Master Key Experience, we do a lot of things that, at first, we don’t understand why we are doing them. Sometimes this can cause resistance in some of the members. Others just do the actions, following the experts as they instruct.

Embracing their Uniqueness

Bobsled Jamaican Style – they realized that they had to embrace what made them unique to be their best, not copy the Swiss with eins, zwei, drei – they had to embrace their Jamaican Style.

Do you embrace your uniqueness? Do you wonder what other people will think of you? Are you ready to stop being a copy of a copy of a copy? You are magnificent and your uniqueness makes the world a better place.

Winning (and Money) isn’t Everything

In one of the final scenes, Irv explains why he cheated to Derice. He said, “I made winning my whole life…and you have to keep on winning no matter what. A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you won’t be enough with it.”

This small conversation really drives home a key message that I am learning in the Master Key Experience. Getting the prize, the reward, the pin level, the income level, won’t make me enough if I’m not already enough without it. The Master Key Experience is cultivating the knowing of enough-ness in me so that when the prize does or does not come, I am not defined by it. I am defined by being me.

A New Year and New You

What are you doing to make this year better than the last? If you’re not sure where to start, tap into my blog and the others in the Master Key Experience (see some links at the right) and get some inspiration!


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