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The Joker’s Self Confidence Formula

The Dark Knight was on TV yesterday in my neck of the woods.

Wow, I can't believe it's already been five years...

Time flies.

Needless to say, the Joker is the main character of that movie. That's probably the way it ought to be for any superhero action movie.

----- SIDEBAR -----

Some people criticized the Batman movies for that. They said that Batman was a supporting role for the villains.

Well, of course.

Stop and think for a second. What do superheroes do?

They respond to emergencies that normal human beings can't handle.

They save the day.

This presupposes that an emergency comes up, which presupposes that there's a cause for that emergency.

I don't know how much fun a superhero movie would be if the cause of the emergency were mother nature: tsunami, earthquake, raging fire, etc.

That might be fun for about 3 minutes and would quickly become boring.

What we want is to see superheroes kicking ass, which presupposes that another character is driving the emergency.

Since the action is driven by the villain, our superhero is always in reactive mode.

The villain is the one in the driver's seat for much of the movie.

----- / SIDEBAR / -----

One of the most striking qualities of the Joker is his ruthless self-confidence.

It's quite unique, in some way.

As the movie unfolded, I kept asking myself: "What drives that self-confidence? What's at the root of it?"

Simply put, he doesn't give a rat's patootee - about anything.

In Buddhist terms, he's completely detached.

Doesn't care about people, doesn't care about outcomes, doesn't care about stuff.

All he does is act and move forward.

Pure action.

Here's his model of the world, as described by himself:

Different psychological operating system, isn't it?

If you take out the meanness and the madness, however, you do get something quite powerful.

You get freedom.

At its essence, that's what he has - and that's what detachment from outcome confers.

Are you attached or detached?

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