Ishan Girdhar

What Schumacher (2021) A German Sports Documentary Teaches About Life?

Ishan Girdhar 2 min read
What Schumacher (2021) A German Sports Documentary Teaches About Life?
Photo by Martin King / Unsplash
Table of Contents

1. Flow

  • Being one with the car.

2. Resourcefulness

  • Schumacher would salvage and use old parts such as tires, put them on his Go-kart, and use them to win the races.
  • Lack of money or resources never curbed his passion.
  • Using the worst equipment to win the races against the best made the win even more glorious.

3. Perfection

  • His control over the car around the racing track corners was laudable.
  • When other drivers would have 1 or 2 perfect laps, Schumacher would have consistent and perfect laps back to back.
  • He was always chasing perfection in everything he was doing; he would expect the best from himself.
“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”

Marcus Aurelius

4. Perseverance

  • The ability to bounce back, especially after Senna’s accident, was an indication of steadfast determination.
  • Schumacher had sleepless nights after that event. We don’t know what he may have done to conquer the debilitating fear that set in after the accident, but he bounced back.
  • He felt the fear but did everything to win anyway.
“You are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.”


5. Mastery

  • Be at your best when you’re at your worst. Schumacher was nicknamed “regenmeister,” which means “Rain Master.”  
  • When tracks are wet, visibility is low, and chances of colliding with other cars are higher, Schumacher drove flawlessly, showcasing his mastery of driving in rainy weather conditions with wet slicks, worthy of the nickname.
  • A true test of character isn’t how you are on your best days but how you act on your worst days.
“Circumstances don’t make the man; they only reveal him to himself.”


6. Taking on an Impossible Challenge

  • In 1995, Schumacher could have chosen to drive for Mclaren, which had the best car at the time.
  • However, Michael Schumaker takes on the impossible challenge of driving for Ferrari in a poorly designed car.
  • But that didn’t stop him; instead, that was an additional motivation for him.

7. Hard-boiled Professionalism

  • Schumacher won the title in a poorly designed car in the same championship that everybody thought to be, including himself, beyond the bounds of possibility through his sheer professionalism.
  • He worked with his teammates late and gave their best to the craft as a team. His charisma & mystique as a leader was contagious.
  • Whenever he was in the garage with the team, he respected and worked with everyone.
  • His presence would uplift everyone’s spirit, which would allow them to work joyfully and enable them to give their best to work.


To Summarize, I learned the following 7 Lessons (in no particular order):

  1. Flow
  2. Being Resourceful
  3. Perfection
  4. Perseverance
  5. Mastery
  6. Taking on the Impossible Challenge
  7. Hard-boiled Professionalism
More from Ishan Girdhar

Ishan Girdhar

I operate at the intersection of Information & Cyber Security, Privacy, Leadership, & Systems Thinking. 18+ hours of reading & analysis distilled into a 10-Minute Summary Bi-weekly.

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