Red Pill or Blue Pill? Morpheus’s 3 Rules for Living the Life you Want

by Joe Barnes




Date: Dec 9, 2013

Red Pill or Blue Pill? Morpheus’s 3 Rules for Living the Life you Want

The Matrix is real! I knew it when I walked out of the cinema over 14 years ago and my subsequent experiences only confirmed my initial suspicion. 

Not that I believe we’re human batteries plugged into a computer mainframe, but the metaphor is very real. A whole planet fed a false version of reality built on the lie that we’re limited, unable to govern our lives and that the material is more important than the spiritual. I call it The System. The Wachowski brothers called it The Matrix, but we’re talking about the same thing.    

Although the film presents a terrifying allegory of how we live, it is not without hope. In fact, at its core, The Matrix, is about humanities salvation. With Morpheus in the role of wise mentor, and Neo as the saviour, we get a glimpse of how to attain our freedom.

We all have, or will, experience our own Red Pill/Blue Pill moment. The choice between following our hearts or conforming to the system is presented to us on an almost daily basis.

Few are brave enough to heed the calling. Even fewer know where to start. That’s why I’ve collated Morpheus’s 3 key lessons to help you break free from your own matrix (the system) and start living a greater life.

Rule n#1: Don’t Accept ‘Reality’

“You’ve been living in a dream world Neo.” – Morpheus

The system’s version of reality is not THE reality. It’s only A reality – one of many possibilities. Most people fall at the first hurdle, believing that the version of reality they’ve been conditioned into accepting represents the truth about life.

Don’t make this mistake. It’s going to lead you to accept a world where only a tiny minority of ‘talented’ people get to do anything extra ordinary or exciting and the chances of you doing something similar are slim to none. 

Instead, remember that we all live in our own unique realities. Yes, we may buy into the general consensus about how life is (the system’s reality) but this is only one version. We’re free to believe whatever we want to believe, and if the system’s reality isn’t serving our goals then we don’t have to accept it.

You could believe in a world where anything is possible and you could believe you possess the capabilities needed to live the life you want. Imagine the difference it would make if you could integrate this lesson. What were once unrealistic fantasies of how your life could be, now become inspiring visions for what you’re going to move towards. It may seem a simple shift in perception, but, when it comes to developing the conviction needed to pursue your dream, it’s everything.

Rule n#2: Free your Mind 

“You have to let it all go Neo – fear, doubt, disbelief. Free your mind.” – Morpheus

When Morpheus says the above words to Neo, they are on top of a skyscraper about to make a leap onto another building. The distance is a good 100 feet, and considering the world record for long jump is 8 meters 95, it’s unlikely he’s going to make it. However, this is the world of the matrix, a false reality where the only limits are the ones you believe in.

Could you make the leap?

Remember, this has nothing to do with your physical capabilities. Right now, do you believe you will overcome the seemingly impossible to get to your destination? 

If not, then you’d do well to heed Morpheus’s words. He wants Neo to release all fear and doubt and instead, operate on faith. He has to believe, without any external evidence to support this feeling, that he will get to where he wants to be. Can you do the same?

It’s such a fundamental question because, just like the 100 foot chasm that separates the two buildings, appearances are always going to deceive you.

From where you are now, to where you want to be, it may ‘look’ impossible. You might not have enough money; you may have too many present commitments. You might not have the right contacts; you may not even have the necessary skills. These are the doubts you are going to have to let go of. Then, you have to reach deep down into your soul and place all your faith in the righteousness of what you want to achieve. This alone will make the miracle come true and bridge the chasm between dreaming and living.

Rule n#3: Walk the Path

“Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realise just as I did, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” – Morpheus

We all KNOW the path. We all know that if we keep stuffing McDonald’s in our face then it will sabotage our goal to lose weight. We all know that if we opt to watch YouTube instead of working on our book or blog then we are decreasing our chances of success. However, it is only a tiny minority that actually put this knowledge into practise. 

What stops the majority?

Besides the obvious (but valid) answer of fear, I’m going to leave you with something you didn’t expect.

The system has duped us into believing that our lives don’t matter.

The world appears so large, and the system is constantly reminding us of our insignificance, that we believe we operate in an isolated vacuum. The thought never crosses our mind that we could do something meaningful or that our daily decisions and choices DO have an impact on the whole. As a result, we never bother to ‘walk the path’.

What difference would it make anyway?

A whole lot!

You see the system thrives (and even exists) on our apathy. If we were to realise that change comes from the individual deciding to ‘walk the path’ and action all of the things they know they should be doing, the world would look a lot different than it does today.

So don’t fall for this trap. Remember, your idea is needed and your skill is going to make a big difference to a lot of people. You ‘walking the path’ is the difference between a world where the people don’t give a shit about themselves or each other, and one where we value the important contribution we all have to make.  


(Image take from Tyler Durdan’s photostram