5 Inspirational Lessons I Learnt From Bob Marley: One Love That You Can Apply To Life Right Now

I truly forgot how ubiquitous Bob Marley’s music was throughout my childhood until I plonked myself down in a chair, popcorn in hand, to watch Bob Marley: One Love

Every time one of the legendary musician’s songs played throughout the movie — either from the mouth of lead actor Kingsley Ben-Adir or soaring in the background of a pivotal scene — I pointed at the screen like that Leonardo DiCaprio meme and internally screamed, ‘Wait, I know this one too!’ 

One Love chronicles the rise of the Bob Marley himself, honing in on his journey from Jamaica to worldwide domination in the 70s as he performs countless concerts with a simple and oh-so strong message: peace.

Bob Marley was, and still is, a beacon of light and hope, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was walking on a pair of cloud slippers when I waltzed out of the cinema, empty popcorn bucket in hand (do it for Bob Marley and take your rubbish with you, the cinema cleaners will thank you).

So, now that I’ve processed the movie, here are some takeaways from the movie that will continue to inspire this decrepit soul.

Surround yourself with like-minded people 

One aspect of One Love that immediately stuck out to me was how often Bob Marley hung out with friends, family and other musicians. I’m not a hermit by any means, but Bob Marley seemingly spent day-in, day-out with people who held similar values to his own, which ultimately emboldened him to keep pursuing his music career and act on his intense desire for harmony. 

As I’m currently in the process of learning to spend prolonged periods of time with people without the desperate need to sit in silence for two days after, it really made me reassess my antisocial tendencies. You almost always feel better after spending time with loved ones, and if you isolate yourself too much, getting back in the habit of being around people can prove to be a tricky feat. 

Hang out, hug, say hi to those you care about because life is fleeting. 

Detractors’ words shouldn’t be taken as gospel 

I’m trying hard not to unveil too much of the movie so you can enjoy it for yourself so I’ll keep it vague. There’s a scene in particular, just as Bob Marley and his team are on the verge of overwhelming success, where they have a slight…disagreement, let’s say, with a head honcho at their record label. 

The head honcho questions a particular element of their work but his concerns are outright dismissed, and Bob Marley powers on with the original plan which, unsurprisingly, pays off. 

The lesson here, kids, is that if you have an unwavering belief in your own abilities, stick to your guns. Sure, listen to other people’s opinions but don’t listen to their criticism as if it’s one of the 10 Commandments – people are wrong all the time. 

Forgiveness benefits everyone

I, for one, was flabbergasted by how quickly Bob Marley forgave a certain someone for doing a certain something (I’m crushing this vague approach), as my petty derriere would be inclined to make that person grovel until their knees wore down the nubs. 

But, as I’ve learned, Bob Marley is a much bigger person than I am, and it takes someone who is truly at peace with themselves to let things go and let the other person apologise and heal, too.

I suppose if you hold on to your grievances, you can’t truly move on with your life, which is frankly doing yourself a disservice. 

Everyone’s capable of change, but it’s not your responsibility

While, yes, Bob Marley felt he had a huge responsibility to instil change in his home country and abroad, he’s a once-in-a-generation soul.

For us normies, we should just take solace in the fact that people are capable of learning and growing, but it’s not on us to make that happen. 

This is veering a bit off topic, but the point I’m getting at is, stop trying to fix your ex. They had their chance, and they blew it onward and upwards. 

Life’s short, so dream big 

You know when you’re lying awake at 1 am, reflecting on the years when you didn’t shoot your shot because it seemed so out of reach? Try this new sleeping tactic I learnt 24 hours ago: ask yourself what you can do about it in the middle of the night, realise the answer is ‘nothing’, and go to sleep.

The next morning, start putting a to-do list in place. Not a regular to-do list, which usually consists of vacuuming and groceries, but a larger scale list of everything you want to achieve in life and start chipping away at it however you can. 

Do you think Bob Marley managed to win over the world with his music simply by lying in bed staring at the ceiling? Nothing’s impossible. Except, arguably, immortality (which is all the more reason to get cracking on that list). 

Bob Marley: One Love is in cinemas from Valentine’s Day, so watch the trailer above to induce goosebumps.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures