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5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From 'The Upside'

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I recently watched “The Upside,” which stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. The movie taught me a lot about learning how to adapt to difficult situations and finding true happiness despite the obstacles you face. I believe it can teach you valuable lessons too.

Here are five things you can learn from watching this phenomenal, inspirational film:

1. Even if you have a past, you deserve chances in life.

In “The Upside,” one of the main characters, Dell Scott, doesn’t have the cleanest past. Before he became Philip’s caregiver, he was in prison and then on probation. Still, Philip gives Dell a chance to prove himself. Look at the people in front of you, not everything they’ve been through.

2. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be rewarding.

In the movie, Philip was interested in a woman, but he had only corresponded with her through letters. He put off meeting her face-to-face because he uses a wheelchair and was afraid of what his love interest might think.

Dell took the initiative and called the woman with whom Philip had been corresponding. They set up a time and place to meet up, and Philip went on a date and confronted his complicated feelings about his wheelchair use. Challenge yourself to do something you typically wouldn’t, because it will benefit you later.

3. Not everyone is going to understand that your circumstances don’t define you.

While Philip was on his date, the woman was uncomfortable with the idea of being in a relationship with a wheelchair user.  She saw him as a “burden” and even rejected him on their date.

At first, Philip was devastated, but then he realized that not everyone is willing to look past our flaws, and that’s OK. No matter what others think of us, we still have to continue living our lives. No matter what people say, no matter what they do, you have to keep going.

4. Life’s better with a little humor.

At the beginning of the movie, Dell and Philip get pulled over by the police. While the police arrest Dell, Philip uses his disability to his advantage and pretends to have a seizure so that they can escape. It’s OK to take those hard parts of your life, make them fun and even use them to your advantage!

5. It’s OK to be angry sometimes.

In the movie, Philip buries his anger inside. Eventually, though, he explodes. Phillip locks himself in his office, where Dell gives him a reality check and encourages him to break things to express his feelings. This semi-violent “break session” helped Philip feel at peace. It’s OK to have those days when you’re angry about life – just let it all out in a healthy way.

“The Upside” can teach you many lessons about how to live your life to the fullest. I strongly encourage you to watch this wonderful movie – and learn from it along the way.

Originally published: April 11, 2019
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