Our Thoughts

I’m asking you to turn into you.

A reflection of Kung Fu Panda 3 The Movie

Spoiler Alert: This article is a reflection of communication inspired by the movie Kung Fu Panda 3 and will quote stories and sayings from the movie. If you have not watched the movie, please be informed of this and if you are anti-spoiler please avoid reading further before watching.

I just watched Kung Fu Panda 3 today and am completely inspired. As usual, even a cartoon movie can make me fall deep into my thoughts.

Here’s a quote that touched me the most from Master Shifu in the movie.

“I am not asking you to turn into me, Po. I am asking you to turn into you.”

We live in a society that demands a lot – a society that demands you to become someone else. Your parents want you to become a very good boy. Your bosses want you to become a fulfilling employee. Your friends, or your dates, want you to become someone kind and compassionate and loving etc etc.

And as someone who are trying to have a position in the society, often times we are trying and struggling so hard to become someone else. Me included, at most times. “Have I become a good friend?” “Have I become a good employee?” “Have I become a good partner?” – whatever good means, according to what other people asked us to be.

It brings us to one great communication challenge of all time: to self, even. We often ask ourselves the question if we could ever become the person that everyone likes. We urge ourselves to become like someone else. We demand. We talk to ourselves to ensure we become like the “best ideal person”. Even Po included, in that movie. He tried to often figure out if he is “the goose” like his Noodle Dad, or if he is “the Panda” like his Panda Dad, or even if he is the Dragon Warrior, like his Shifu – or even he could be the Master of Chi to beat Kai the villain in the movie.

But the funniest thing then happen: when he stopped talking himself to become someone else and embrace the idea and talk to himself to even just simply let go and become himself – then it unleashes his true power.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

So when someone is trying to turn self into self…. That’s when their greatest power lie within, activated altogether.

I don’t think it’s just about becoming yourself. It’s beyond that – often times, when you are trying hard to become yourself even – and telling yourself to become yourself – we even often fail to actually engage with ourselves as we treat ourselves separately and pushes ourselves into submission of getting forced.

But let’s take a look when Po surrenders and lets it go – and the only conversation he made with himself is to let go. Simply let go and take nature take its course. That’s when his true self actually appear – his “naivety” over his own understanding of the world. If you’ve watched Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2, this is where the core of the story lies within: talking yourself to surrender and let go, and let it flow.

But mankind is given with the nature to also control. And when you lose control over yourself… isn’t it scary?

It is, indeed. But surprisingly, at least based on the movie, the more we try to talk ourselves to control over how we feel, or how we want to become someone else, or even to become yourself (whatever “yourself” actually means), the more we restrain ourselves to actually outgrow ourselves. By letting go – we actually lower expectation over what might happen. This means we distract ourselves from unnecessary and irrelevant mind obstacles – and then are focused on what matters the most.

And based on my humble experience – at a lot of times when I surrender, for example when I wanted to get out of my poor grades when I was in senior high school and almost didn’t even make graduation – and ending up exiting high school in flying colors, achieving top 5 – I actually surrendered and don’t even think of making high marks – I only think of doing what I need to do – which is to study and focus on my best strengths – which is to just simply focus and not be distracted.

All of us have that power. The power to harness our own power. But the only way we can unleash them, at most times, is to talk ourselves to let go. And that’s when the greatest battle happens – but truth be told, which also results in the greatest result.

Imagine if we are the hugger – or the friend – or the family – or whoever role the Panda unleashed us to be. But that could only happen if we embrace the nature of ourselves – because with all the strengths and weaknesses, lies the greatest truth of ourselves. You, turning into you.

So, are you ready to be the next master of Chi by turning yourself into you?;) #PlsTalk with yourself.


This is Bryan Gunawan’s little piece of thought. He has coached more than thousands of individuals of all age sectors ranging from 6 year-olds to 70 year-olds in communication & leadership in the last 8 years, and is in the process of writing the book “Can We #PlsTalk?”, unveiling stories of his cause for communication prowess to solve life challenges. Find him at twitter @bryangunawan

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