how to be a badass

How to Be a Badass: Lessons from Ocean’s 8

Everyone has either seen or heard of the Ocean’s 11 series.  More recently, Hollywood decided to make an all-female version, Ocean’s 8.  I heard mixed reviews when it was released, but when I saw it, I actually liked it. It has a diverse, all-star female cast, amazing jewelry, and jewelry heist during the Met Gala, a revenge love story and enough sarcasm and humor to keep you entertained. I’ll also add that it teaches you how to be a badass.

A little background on the movie:

Debbie Ocean is played by Sandra Bullock and is the sister of Danny Ocean. She was framed and sent to jail by her ex-boyfriend and spent her time behind bars plotting revenge against him. She figures out the perfect plan to do so while securing a fortune by stealing $150 million diamond necklace, PLUS other jewels from a display at New York City’s annual Met Gala that year.

The heist goes exactly as planned, and along the way, you gain insight into each character and their motivation for joining the group. More importantly, each character in the movie is a badass in her own way, a fact that I love.  And given the general badass-ery that takes place in the movie, I thought I’d put together some thoughts on lessons we can all take away on how to be a badass.

Be Your Own Badass, Not Anyone Else’s

As I mentioned, each character has her own strengths that she brings to the table and makes her a valuable asset to the team.  One is a jewelry maker, another is great with computers, yet another is a fantastic pickpocket.

So, be your own expert; fuel what you’re good at and don’t compare your talents to that of others.  Your unique talent and capabilities are what make you, you, and what set you apart from everyone else.  Those things that set you apart are what will propel you forward into your own badass niche that you can dominate.

Karma is a Bitch

The revenge love story plot in the movie involves a back-stabbing boyfriend who frames the heroine for fraud, for which she spends several years in jail.  Her plan when she comes out involves this jewelry heist (the major story line in the movie), and framing him in return.

Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to go around plotting against their ex’s, but I do think that there is something to be said for karma.  Karma is defined as the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. 

Even without your plotting and planning, life has a way of giving people exactly what they deserve. Everything happens for a reason. So don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Being a badass means that you let go of what you can’t control and don’t worry about what others are doing. Just concentrate on your own behavior and make sure that you’re building up good karma for yourself.

Never Underestimate the Pretty Girl

One of the characters, played by Anne Hathaway, is an actress, and she’s not originally part of the group heist.  She’s portrayed as being very beautiful, very image-conscious, and, correspondingly, an airhead.  However, she turns out to be quite smart and figures out what the Ocean’s 8 group is doing.  As a result, she ends up worming her way into the group and earns a cut of the profits.

As women you may be underestimated, overlooked or categorized a certain way- either based on looks, your career, or just people’s general assumptions that they make.  Don’t let any of what people think dictate how you live your life or your decisions.  Instead, surprise them by showing them how wrong they are, and how much of a badass you are.

The More Diverse Your Squad, the Better Off You Are

Having different people in your life, from all walks of life, all races and all professions is a huge asset.  It gives you an opportunity to learn and grow in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Money is a Great Motivator, but It’s Not Always the Strongest

The common motivation of each woman for joining the group is money, of course.  However, there is also an underlying alternative motivation in each.  One needs a way off the streets, another wants to move out of her parent’s house, and the main character is also after revenge.

While the money lured everyone in, the deal was sealed when they thought of all the OTHER things they would gain as well.

Similarly, in life, I think that many people pursue different financial and professional goals for the sake of making more money or growing their savings. 

However, what’s the underlying thing that you really gain from having money?


A true badass has the freedom to do whatever they like; to buy themselves free time (e.g. hiring a nanny or a housekeeper); to afford all the bucket list life experiences they want to have.

So, when pursuing your goals, make sure you have other factors pushing you and motivating you as well.

Success is not always just measured by the amount in your bank account.

Constantly Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

The movie involves a lot of big action: stealing, lying, manipulating, which is not a strong suit for many of the characters in the group. Yet, they do it anyway in pursuit of their goals.

The lesson: push your boundaries, expand your comfort zone so that you try new things, and enter new situations so that you continuously are contributing to your personal development and personal growth.

Don’t Waste Time; Act Now

As soon as the main character in the movie was released from jail, she started on her path to revenge. She did not waste time putting her plan in motion.

Likewise, there is no perfect time to start making moves to be your own badass self. Life is Short. Start now. There is no such thing as the perfect time.

So, stop doubting yourself; stop believing that you can’t elevate or improve yourself and be better. You don’t need to be a superstar to be a badass. You just need to have the motivation and the intention to be your best self possible.

Always Have a Back-Up Plan in Place

As with any robbery, you should have a backup plan in place in case shit hits the fan. Our group in Oceans’ 8 did; in addition to a crazy expensive diamond necklace, they also planned to, and accomplished, stealing all the extra jewels showcased at the Met Gala during their jewelry heist.

In the same way, in life, you should have an alternative route laid out for yourself. Wanting to make a career change? Find more than one option to pursue in case one doesn’t work out. Planning a trip? Have a plan in place for emergencies and delays.

Keep Your Eyes on the Goal

No matter who told the movie’s main character to stop, slow down or reconsider, she never stopped.

Whatever it is you want to achieve, don’t let naysayers get in your way. Don’t let haters bring you down. Don’t let society tell you what to do. Become one of those people that wakes up every morning knowing exactly what you want, and start living your life to reflect those goals.

Above All: Accept Who You Are, and Be YOU

As I mentioned before, each of the characters is unique in their own right, with their own talents and specialties. They are who they are, and there’s no other way they’d want to be.

Accept yourself. The good the bad, the talents, and the faults. Don’t listen to social media about who you should be. Don’t try to change because of some preset expectations from the people around you.

Yes, you should always be working on yourself and try to better yourself. But, be your best YOU. Work to know exactly who you are, and improve upon that. Learn and grow in ways that reflect your own goals and expectations for yourself.

There is a lot of conformity in our world today. The world needs more people who are their authentic true selves.

Featured picture and pinnable image courtesy of

What did you think of the movie? Any take aways on how to be a badass that you’d like to share? Comment below!

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