Review: “Don’t look down” (Richard Branson)

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Richard Branson is an adventurer, a visionary, a father, a husband and a businessman. I took the opportunity to see him at the INSPIRATION360 event in Amsterdam. His stories inspired me and I wanted to see his new documentary “Don’t look down” which recently came out.

This article is a review of the documentary.

The documentary ends with a quote by Napoléon Bonaparte at the time of recruiting a field marshal:

Never mind your background, your experience. Are you lucky?

The quote is said by Per Lindstrand, the builder and pilot of the balloon with which Richard Branson crossed the Atlantic Ocean . He says that Richard Branson is lucky. I think there’s more than just luck in the life of Richard Branson.

As a child he was taught to think of other people, not to be angry, jealous and not to show fear. He should keep things to himself. He was not allowed to watch TV and he was supposed to do things all day. His parents would let him bike some 100 kilometers to the beach and at one point he was pushed out of the car to go the remainder of the journey to his grandmother on foot.

This builds character and helped him to be the person he has become. Richard Branson is very good at not blaming anybody. He always smiles, even if he faces death threatening challenges, when he’s nervous or when a challenge goes wrong (like the first time he attempted to cross the Atlantic with a speedboat).

You see, Richard Branson failed at school (because he is dyslectic) and that’s why he spends a lot of time to prove things for himself, his family and friends. This made him a go-getter and very determined on reaching his goals. His parents always encouraged him to do so.

Richard Branson throws himself 100% in a challenge. He will yell: “ It’s going to work!”, even if everybody else is not that optimistic. He’s unstoppable in doing new things. In fact, according to his mother, he goes for the impossible and we just have to accept it.

One great people skill he has is that he has an instant liking or disliking of someone but he would never run anybody down. He has great faith in other people. He doesn’t blame others for mistakes. He is an optimist pur sang and is convinced everything is going to work out well. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to do it!”, he says. And if things go wrong, according to Richard Branson, these things can bind you together rather than separate you.

In the documentary, you’ll get more insight in the early years of Richard Branson. Among others, you’ll meet his first co-workers, his mother and wife (girlfriend at the time). You’ll see great footage of his adventures starting the Virgin Atlantic airlines and his challenges with balloons.

Most of these challenges are part of his image campaign and self-promotion. For this, he’s willing to break tradition. There’s a lot of pressure on Richard Branson to succeed. And still, he keeps on smiling and he keeps on moving forward. If you want to become famous [or successful], you have to take risks and a positive attitude is essential. Richard Branson explains that the reason for these adventures is that if he doesn’t end up dying in his bed, he would rather be dying on one of his adventures. He would have had a much fuller life.

What I didn’t like about it and why you should not watch it:

Well, there’s nothing much to dislike but you should not watch it if you don’t have 90 minutes. It’s a full feature length documentary.

What I liked about it and why you should watch it:

The documentary is very exciting keeps you in suspense until the very end. You will get to know Richard Branson better, what he does to put fear aside and what helps him to do everything absolutely right.

Also, you’ll learn more about his challenge to cross the Pacific by balloon and why that challenge didn’t get that much media attention as Richard Branson hoped for.

Who should watch this documentary:

People who are looking for inspiration or motivation to pursue their dreams and do not want to waste their time searching an inspirational movie on the internet. This documentary is also for people who do not know Richard Branson well, entrepreneurs and adventurers.

So, how are you going to live a fuller life? Do you look down if you move forward or do you keep your head straight up? Let me know in the comment box below. The first one to do so will receive the documentary for FREE!

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