jackie chan

Five Writing Inspirations I Emulate From Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan no longer needs recognition at all. He is a global personality. Perhaps the only celebrity endeared to everyone worldwide. His versatility as an actor, producer, director, martial- artist, stuntman, and singer is a phenomenal individuality, perhaps envious to everyone.  His dedication to filmmaking is inspirational.

Jackie mentioned in his book, Never Grow Up, about his unshakable commitment to filmmaking. He said while being a part of a movie project, he missed attending to his ailing mother. In the middle of the film’s shooting, Jackie was informed by the hospital doctor, that his (Jackie’s) mother passed away. Stunned and grief-stricken Jackie quelled his bereavement as long as the shooting was in the process.

Later, in his vanity van, broken-hearted Jackie cried a lot, cursing himself for not being there when his mother needed him the most at her last time. Jackie talked somewhere in the book that he was away from attending the birth of his son, Jacie, as he was busy acting in a movie.

Does that make Jackie a heartless soul?

The answer to this question will be divisive. Honestly.

While some may term Jackie heartless, some may think he was committed to his professionalism. I think Jackie, being extremely dedicated to his work, prioritized it more than his family. As he clarified somewhere in the book, he saw the poverty really close. He did not want his family to go through the same penury that he experienced.

Though his father was working as a chef at a foreigner’s house, Jackie faced difficulty. The severity of it emerged when he was admitted to a martial arts school, on condition made to his father, that the boy would be the property of the institute, and no matter what, he was to be treated that way. During schooling and training, if the boy dies, the institute will not be held accountable for that. According to Jackie, the training at the school was a complete hell-house. Words like rigorous fail to define the enormity of pain Jackie and his classmates had to undergo there.

The point is – the absence of Jackie at some of the most important times in his family does not prove that he is cold-hearted. If we see it from a logical standpoint, his absence accentuates the scale of commitment to the professionalism he had vowed solemnly. To Jackie, filmmaking and charity work both make him extremely happy.

Jackie Chan who epitomizes the mantra of tenacity

Globally famed martial arts action hero Jackie Chan is my inspiration when it comes to writing. Well, I know you might be thinking that I am not making any sense here because Chan is not a writer! Trust me, what he did so far is no less than a legacy worth appreciating or getting inspired by. I am a big fan of his movies, his acting, his joviality, and of course his breathtaking stunts. Apart from Jet Li, and Donnie Yen, Chan is one hell of an action hero I adore.

The beauty of “Jackie Chan inspiration” is to follow tenacity or keep on keeping on. He teaches me how to perfect my niche and fosters a unique personality of myself. He inspires me to be myself. True to myself.

I have contemplated five attributes of Jackie that inspire me, and which also underscore the greatness of this “Dragon Forever” star, as well as accentuate my deep-seated regard for the living legend.

Five Writing Inspirations To Emulate From Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan Inspiration #01 – Be Yourself

Jackie Chan once said that being true to himself was the most important attitude that led him to the spotlight as a superstar. He became a household name, People just loved everything he did in movies. Fans adored his action-comedy acting skills.

Back in the era of 1970s, the Chinese film industry was pervasively dominated by the distinctive aura of Bruce Lee aka the Father of Martial Art. At that time, Chan doubted if he could stand a chance as an actor in the cinematic world of China that was so awe-struck by the formidable Lee. As a matter of fact, the film industry heavily leaned on Lee’s movies. He was an incredible martial arts action hero, hailed as a world phenomenon at that time. Overshadowing his aura was next to impossible.

Somehow Jackie got a cameo appearance with Lee in the then-blockbuster, ENTER THE DRAGON.

The cameo role required Chan as a sidekick. He was supposed to be knocked down by Lee. Chan’s showdown with Lee earned him no praiseworthy recognition, except the nostalgia that Jackie still fondly holds on to. I doubt if any audience watching the fight scene of Jackie with Bruce Lee might have spared a thought that the little skinny guy who was sustaining a great deal of pain in a desperate effort to disentangle himself from the brute grip of Lee would be a world-famous MASTER OF KUNG-FU and fans craving for his autograph.

For the audience then, Chan was another riff-raff team player supposed to be knocked down by fists of Lee. In one of the interviews, Jackie said he was critically injured by the way Lee held his clump of hair, jerking his head to and fro and then tossing aside his body like an empty can. How condescending!

Jackie’s contemplation finally led him to believe that if he followed the footsteps of legendary actors in those times, possibly he wouldn’t have made it very far. Worst, people would view him as a useless impersonator or just an ordinary actor with no unique skill to stand out. What did he do then? Well, he reinvented himself. He let his inner voice get convinced of his true potential.

The self-realization of being true to yourself

Finally, he realized that all he wanted was to show the world what he inherited from years of strict practice of martial arts through his movies. He wanted to give the audiences a true sense of ‘martial arts’ treats, something UNIQUE or unprecedented. Strong enough to trigger their adrenaline rush to visceral excitement. Jackie combined comedy with actions and dressed his style as a specific character – DRUNKEN FIGHTING STYLE which popularized him as DRUNKEN MASTER all over the world. Incredible stunts and actions with the elements of comedy became a signature statement of Jackie’s movies.

Jackie emphasized the importance of being “TRUE TO YOURSELF” in most of his interviews, attributing it as the sole factor that separates you from the crowd. Win or lose doesn’t matter, but at least you create an impact for yourself that is UNIQUE. A standout personality. Someone who is at least happy that his deed may not have been rewarded positively as expected but it has been the fruition of his character’s uprightness.

In writing, I tend to be more to myself. I know many people find my writing style verbose, bloated, or meaningless. But I shamelessly remain to myself. During the course of writing, I tried to imbibe good things from great writers, but I am careful not to get resigned to the personality aura of other writers. I hate to have my own aura being overshadowed by other people. Even though I write to the best of my ability, I am glad that what I follow is UNIQUE, not a copycat version of my counterparts.

Also Read: How to Cultivate A Growth Mindset

In other words, being inspired by someone is great, but what boils down to a truly meaningful and worthwhile quality of your individuality is how you see yourself from your viewpoints and try harder to get better about it.

be yourself quote

On a personal note – The incident of Jackie Chan bears a close resemblance to that of Amitabh Bachchan. The mega-superstar of Bollywood cinema today was rejected in a screen test owing to his baritone voice. Someone advised him to change his voice or acting. He listened to his inner voice and honored the decision – TO BE HIMSELF. Now his VOICE is the most formidable proponent of BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF belief.

Jackie Chan Inspiration #02 – Practice Trumps Perfection

jackie chan precising kung fu

According to Jackie, his incredible martial arts skills are the result of strict and rigorous training at Shaolin Temple. Chan was trained by teachers who were followers of strict discipline. To gather more understanding about kung fu training at schools in China, just watch RETURN TO THE 36th CHAMBER. This movie portrays rigorous training sessions maintained by teachers at Shaolin temples. Students are trained by veteran masters in an inflexible disciplinary environment.

The result?

Well, it’s like gold. Just as the precious metal gathers shiny yellow after continually going through thermal treatment and hammering, Jackie and the likes of him at the Shaolin temple attained gold-like preciosity. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of consistent hard practice under observant teachers.

As a writer, I believe “discipline-way of practice” is the key to determining as to whether or not you’re going to be a writer. Practice trumps perfection, to say the least. The moment you leave practicing your skill, it dulls its edge sooner. Just like a knife; you forget to sharpen it and see it going blunt in due course of time.

The skill of content writing is like a knife. You ignore practicing it due to inertia or whatever la ame-excuse you name it, very soon you lose the gravity of its magnitude. Result? A blank head.

Practice leads to perfection. No doubt about it. Writing, like many other tasks, requires consistent practice. You have to show integrity, dedication, and commitment. Discard any excuse you may have that might indicate even faintly that you can’t practice just because, for example, you get a tummy ache or your fingers hurt at keyboards. STOP!

Jackie Chan Inspiration #03 -Discipline

Once Jackie told in an interview that he still follows discipline at home. When he enters his house, he puts off his shoes, and gently keeps them at a dedicated place. However, his son Jacy is quite the opposite in his disciplinary conduct. He throws his shoes here and there before jumping into his bed. That’s just a small example of how this globally-famed star loves discipline.

In jest, Chan said learning kung-fu at the Shaolin temple under the discipline of teachers became second nature. He never got rid of that discipline he’d learned. He said his son Jacie Chan is not comfortable with following domestic etiquette but he does not conduct himself against discipline. Discipline-wise, he and his son are different, to a certain extent.

Jackie said practice led him to perfect his skills. Education learned at the Shaolin temple runs deep in his blood even today. The reason? Well, the repeated practice under discipline. Jackie is getting old but he is still loaded, ready to knock a few punks to a pulp with his kung fu. He perfected his niche through hard work, and discipline played a great role in it.

Lesson To Learn:

A writer has to follow discipline everywhere. Meaning, it must be in your thinking, your imagination, and in your process of writing a story. According to Jackie, discipline is what constitutes your behavior as a magnet to pull toward you. It reinforces strength within you and guides you to follow the right direction. It teaches you how and when to behave.

Thoughts usually come in fleeting seconds in our minds. A fickle mind loses precious thoughts but a disciplined one retains valuable thoughts for later days, in your needs. A disciplined mind, as a matter of fact, is curiously driven to thoughts. It picks up the quality of thoughts thinking of their possible impacts once co-joined with a well-phrased content body. Discipline enables you to follow a strict code of conduct.

When inertia hits, enabling you to take a nap or do something unproductive, this is the very well-cultivated discipline that helps you ward off the inertia. If you leave it unattended, it will try to take control of your willpower, deviating you from fulfilling your responsibility.

Today we envy Jackie’s incredible kung-fu gesticulations in movies and interview shows. However, if we think harder, we understand that such a feat is the result of years-long hard practice in a very strict disciplinary environment. Jackie still recollects the discipline he and his fellow students at Shaolin used to follow unconditionally.

I just wonder if today’s teenagers would stand a teacher’s spanking as a mild warning to behave and discipline. I fear if any teacher would do such a thing today, he would soon be condemned to universal mockery and subjected to corporal cruelty in a vile attempt to take the side of “victim” students.

While I too detest corporal punishment, I welcome a disciplinary environment and it must be maintained indiscriminately. True lessons never come if students are not docile. And docility blooms under care and discipline. Therefore, write and make sure you write in a disciplined way.

Benefits Of Being Disciplined in Writing:

  • Improved consciousness about knowing your duty.
  • The incentive of being punctual about when to do the writing.
  • No inertia.
  • An improved level of cautiousness not to let ideas fade into oblivion without being maximized.
  • Self-discipline in writing leads to a concentrated focus on the inner strength demonstrative of your ability to make a correct decision and preserve it until the task undertaken is accomplished.
  • Elevates the compass of your aversion to procrastination, laziness, inertia, and complacency.
  • Leads to perseverance. It develops your tenacity to accomplish a task until it is done.
  • Improves your resistive power against sidestepping distractions or temptations.
  • Improves controlled behavior, which affords enhanced creativity level in writing.

Jackie Chan Inspiration #04 – Master of Gentility

Jackie is MR NICE GUY.

Being down-to-earth, label-headed, well-mannered, and adorably chivalrous are some of the greatest character traits of Jackie Chan. These are his personality traits, making unique and admirably great persona among his countless fans all over the world. However, from the perspective of writing, one must emulate that kind of personality quality of Jackie.

You may be a great writer with a knack for using expressive and nerve-hitting sentences when you write. But however famous or celebrated writer you may become, if your attitude toward your readers, fans, or admirers is condescending, patronizing, or pejorative, you risk forever oblivion of your individuality as a writer. That’s the kind of fallout you would be in for if you maintain conduct unsuitably friendly or approachable for your readers.

I believe that everyone in this world is a genius to a certain extent. Even a rickshaw-puller is talented. Tell him to ride you home fast but safely, and the next thing you are going to experience is the man behind the paddle, driving his rickshaw to various shortcuts, finally riding you home, safe and sound.

It is very good to have talent by which you can earn a lot of money or may lead your life in abundant prosperity. But there is something in this world that even the richest person longs for. It is called RESPECT. The kind of gentle mannerism you wear when you meet someone is the very yardstick other people use to determine or gauge your personality as a friendly or deniable one.

Being a gentleman has always its upsides

Everyone knows that Jackie is an incredibly gifted martial arts action hero. He is a world-renowned celebrity. But most of all, people also recognize him because of his smiling face. Ask anyone if they have heard of Jackie. The next thing you witness is the jovial reaction on the person’s face as if remembering Jackie brought a smile to his face.

In many of his movies, Jackie is seen using just a handful of pieces of furniture to beat down his opponents. And that was quite incredible and hilarious. Most of his self-initiated stunts virtually cost him his life. No doubt whatever he is today is the result of his hard work, perseverance, commitment, and of course good behavior. I was watching a video on YouTube in which Jackie is shown some of his old friends from his stunt team. Every one of them was extolling Jackie and felt quite privileged to have become part of his stunt team.

The scene was very emotional and you may feel breaking down when you watch Jackie’s old friends calling him “Big Brother!” Even audiences and people gathered around Jackie could not hold their tears from welling up. The sight of bleary-eyed Jackie being hailed respectably by his equally emotional old friends is, according to me, the strongest proof of Jackie’s gentility, among his achievements.

Your knowledge, your talent, or your experience is surely a certificate of success in your professional career, but it is your character, good manner, or gentility by which people remember you. Therefore, even if you consider you are the best writer, make sure your behavior does not wear an aura of a superiority complex. That is counterproductive for your professional success in your chosen career goal.

Let me give you an example –

Dr House image poster

I hope you may have watched a very famous TV series called HOUSE, M.D. Believe me, this is perhaps some of the best TV series that has impressed me, to the point of leaving my routine foods just to see Hugh Laurie playing Dr. House in this incredibly wonderful, gripping, and impressively well-scripted TV series.  Dr. House is unquestionably the most competent and skilled diagnostician. His remarkable talent for understanding people is a hell of a view to behold.

A genius who is disabled, in constant pain, and in denial often, is a touchy, temperamental jerk, and of course insensitive to his most trusted friends, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Lisa Cuddy, and his teammates, namely Dr. Cameron, Dr. Chase, and Dr. Foreman.  

Talent takes you to the top, behavior ensures how long you stay there

The point is the behavior of Dr. House toward these people remains a surreal mix of callousness and friendliness.

However, most of the time he is often at cross-purpose with others for reasons best known to his temperamentality or digressive attitude. Yet what sets his individuality apart from the rest of diagnosticians is that House is incredibly gifted at understanding people, their wants, and their perceptions. He is always on the quest for truth, even though he consciously knows that truth is just a mirage and everybody lies. But his rude behavior toward other people not only cost him jail imprisonment but mockery and disgust from his victims, even those who just hate him for his bad reputation. Even though he was a genius, his narcissism estranged many people.

My point – Irrespective of how talented you are, if you are being a boastful, resentful, and bullheaded jerk, or you exercise conduct not demonstrative of gentility, you risk people’s deadpan regards or contemptuous treatment. You fade into oblivion. Hence, be humble and respect people. Always remember that nobody is perfect and this is the bitterest truth that perhaps keeps many people at their sanity level.

Jackie Chan Inspiration #05 – Be a Creative Genius

In writing, be a creative genius.

Jackie Chan said in an interview that when he was in the movie-making business, he was not sure of his success in it. The film industry, from the mid-70s to the 1980s, had many successful celebrities, like Bruce Lee. They were dominating the Chinese film industry. Their formidable cinematic personality sort of eclipsed the nascent growth of many actors. Bruce Lee was surely the magnet of all actors in those times.

jackie chan drunken master
DRUNKEN MASTER is the culmination of Chan’s creative-mindedness.

Jackie said he knew nothing of how someone with no fame in his credit could ever possibly gain limelight for his work, for his talent, and for his movie-making skill. He did some cameo roles in some movies, including his faceoff with Bruce Lee. He said Lee punched him so hard that the pain he felt was unbearable. By the time his body hit the floor as tossed aside by Lee, he felt severe pain coursing through his ribs. Worst, no one noticed but Lee who later apologized for (unintentionally) hitting Jackie.

Did the competition in the market spook Jackie and he caved in?

Not at all.

Jackie said he knew the odds were against him. Whatever steps he wanted to show in movies were already in vogue, as audiences loved action choreographies filmed by Bruce Lee and many other popular actors in those times. Though Jackie tried to simulate his moves from the reputed actors, soon he realized that imitation would lead him to nothing but certain oblivion. Then he realized his latent talent.

He came to know that if he continued doing things from his original creative mind, things would be quite different. Very soon he involved in his action stunts a certain amount of comedy and as soon as the experiment born fruit as audiences liked his comical moves in movies, he made sure that he maximized his comedy-cum-action talent.

Jackie never compromised with originality. He knew audiences would not like his movies if he kept on repeating the same dull story, fights, or stunts, either shown by other contemporary actors of his times or insignificant due to their countless repetitions.  It was the very originality and creativity that made Jackie and his movies a worldwide success.

Lesson – Make sure you write something from a fresh and different perspective.

People love things to read which are uniquely interesting, and different from the status quo.

Final Words

Being original means your writer understands your target audience. It includes quality information, not repeated stuff. It should involve relevant keywords without demeaning the quality. Top of all – your writing should be in resonance with the expectations of your target audiences/readers.

Do not be a copycat version of other writers. Script your unique personality. Even though you may suck at certain points, being yourself is still rewarding. It helps you how to fix your shortcomings, improve your writing, and make it informatively better.

Jackie Chan inspiration

Be disciplined. It affords wisdom on how to craft your way to a better writer.

That’s it. What do you think Jackie has inspired you in a way you would like to share here? I think he has been an inspiration to me. A role model for everyone.

The aforesaid narratives suggest my regard for Jackie Chan, the world’s perhaps most recognizable celebrity. I’d love to hear from you about the celebrity who inspires you in your creative niche. Please state your viewpoints on the blog as well.

Note I wrote this piece perhaps five years ago, but I had to postpone its publishing for some reasons. And then I forgot about it until recently when I found it snuggled in the piles of files on my PC.

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