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Netflix "The Swimmers" - must watch to gain a new life perspective

This past weekend Karel and I watched "The Swimmers" on Netflix. We love watching true story documentaries, especially with a sport focus.

Words can't describe how powerful this movie was to watch. It brought back some uncomfortable emotions and memories from Karel who immigrated to the US over two decades ago. 

The film is based on the true story of 17-year old Yusra and 20-year old Sara who left their home and family in Syria to travel to Germany due to the escalation of the Syrian civil war. Yusra was determined to make the 2016 Rio Olympics as a swimmer, with the support and coaching from her father. Germany would give her the opportunity to pursue her (and her fathers) dream. The 25-day journey from Syria to Germany involved airplanes, boats, lots of walking, buses and taxies. 

The film shows the many obstacles and struggles of being a refugee. Although swimming is the reason why the sisters left Syria, this movie shows the complicated lives that people from around the world live through and how they maintain incredible values when making the difficult decision to leave their home and family in hope of finding a better life. 

After the movie, I asked Karel if he ever felt like he was not going to make it in America when he had no money and he only owned what he was carrying in his backpack and his reponse was "I couldn't go back to Czech. I couldn't fail. I had to make this work." Although Karel's situation was nothing like what refugees experience when wanting to leave violence, war, hunger and poverty, this movie is a reminder that just because someone leaves their country, this doesn't mean that life automatically becomes comfortable, safe and easy. Similar to Karel's situation, the 'swimming sisters' lost everything to have to start all over again. They were determined to take every opportunity available with optimism and were grateful for all the positive things that happened.

This movie had so many valuable lessons. I feel the biggest lesson was on perspective. It's so easy to focus on what is not going well, rather than focusing on what is going well - never feeling satisfied. But changing perspective can help you appreciate what you have and how to enjoy the little things in life. The Mardini sisters also reminded us to never give up when things get tough and to stay patient.

Consider this picture above of two numbers - 6 and 9. This concept shows a powerful message about perspective and point of view. If two people stand on either side of the number, one person sees a 6 and the other sees a 9. Both are right and both are wrong when describing what they see.

You may not realize how important your perspectives can impact your life. Many times, if you find yourself stressing, worrying or complaining over something, you may just need a small shift in your perspective. If you want to change your life, you need to change the way you look at it. You need to discover a new perspective This may mean changing your mindset, your outlook, your attitude or looking at things from a different point of view. To help you get started, here are a few ways to change your perspective to change your life:
  • Don't compare yourself to others
  • Don't stress over the small stuff - it's not worth it
  • Embrace change
  • When something bad happens, accept it and learn from it
  • Finding the silver lining during difficult situations
  • Never take anything for granted
  • Appreciate the little things in life
  • Forgive and forget
  • Don't be afraid to fail
  • Don't be so hard on yourself
  • Live based on your values and morals
  • Take time for yourself
  • Take time to care for yourself to better take care of others
  • Surround yourself with positive-thinking people
  • Live life with purpose and meaning
  • Appreciate what you have
  • Give back to others
  • Let go of worries and live in the present
  • Believe in yourself