If you ask any of my students, they will tell you one of my favorite quotes is “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. It’s sort of my mantra for life. Dory says the words in the form of a catchy tune that adds to the greatness of the quote.  Obviously, in her case, she was literally swimming but we need to keep “swimming” as well.
Essentially Dory is saying that we need to keep going.  This is great advice coming from a fish with short-term memory loss that happens to be a natural blue!  Life can be tough and we will face many obstacles but we need to keep moving and trying.  Really, we do not have a choice because life is going to happen whether we want it to or not, so we need to find the courage and strength to move on.
Dory’s delivery is equally as important as her words.  I like to think of Dory as an eternal optimist.  She finds a way to bring humor and fun to every situation so things seem tolerable.  Sometimes we get so stuck in our struggles that we forget everything doesn’t always need to be serious. For example, have you ever been in a situation where you were extremely upset but reflected back on it and realized it was actually really funny, not serious at all?  Obviously it’s not always easy or appropriate to bring humor into a situation, but when it is, we always should.
There are a lot of things we can do to keep swimming.  We can:
Laugh at ourselves and how silly we sometimes look
Find something in the situation that isn’t so bad This gives us hope, which is necessary.  It will also prevent us from focusing only on negative things.
Talk to someone about what is going on.  A conversation with a friend can totally turn your feelings around.
No matter what, keep your head up and keep going
Stay focused and deal with emotions later
Like I said, things aren’t always easy but tough times do always pass. Socializing and moving forward has a way of making things more tolerable and easier to get through.  Therefore, it’s important we know what NOT to do as well.
Don’t:
Isolate yourself.  As tempting as it is to lock yourself in a room listening to sad songs, this is a terrible idea and will only make you feel worse.  
Keep your feelings to yourself.  Sometimes just saying something out loud can make a huge difference.  Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on.
Dory really is smarter than she appears.  ”Just keep swimming” is a pretty great life motto.   Okay, well it’s time I log off and practice speaking whale!

If you ask any of my students, they will tell you one of my favorite quotes is “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. It’s sort of my mantra for life. Dory says the words in the form of a catchy tune that adds to the greatness of the quote.  Obviously, in her case, she was literally swimming but we need to keep “swimming” as well.

Essentially Dory is saying that we need to keep going.  This is great advice coming from a fish with short-term memory loss that happens to be a natural blue!  Life can be tough and we will face many obstacles but we need to keep moving and trying.  Really, we do not have a choice because life is going to happen whether we want it to or not, so we need to find the courage and strength to move on.

Dory’s delivery is equally as important as her words.  I like to think of Dory as an eternal optimist.  She finds a way to bring humor and fun to every situation so things seem tolerable.  Sometimes we get so stuck in our struggles that we forget everything doesn’t always need to be serious. For example, have you ever been in a situation where you were extremely upset but reflected back on it and realized it was actually really funny, not serious at all?  Obviously it’s not always easy or appropriate to bring humor into a situation, but when it is, we always should.

There are a lot of things we can do to keep swimming.  We can:

  • Laugh at ourselves and how silly we sometimes look
  • Find something in the situation that isn’t so bad This gives us hope, which is necessary.  It will also prevent us from focusing only on negative things.
  • Talk to someone about what is going on.  A conversation with a friend can totally turn your feelings around.
  • No matter what, keep your head up and keep going
  • Stay focused and deal with emotions later

Like I said, things aren’t always easy but tough times do always pass. Socializing and moving forward has a way of making things more tolerable and easier to get through.  Therefore, it’s important we know what NOT to do as well.

Don’t:

  • Isolate yourself.  As tempting as it is to lock yourself in a room listening to sad songs, this is a terrible idea and will only make you feel worse.  
  • Keep your feelings to yourself.  Sometimes just saying something out loud can make a huge difference.  Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on.

Dory really is smarter than she appears.  ”Just keep swimming” is a pretty great life motto.   Okay, well it’s time I log off and practice speaking whale!

Frozen

Lyrically, Frozen’s “Let It Go” is a liberating masterpiece.  Throughout the song Elsa decides to stop pretending to be perfect and allow people to see the real her.  Sure, she ends up turning the kingdom into a tundra, which oddly resembles Chicago’s last winter but I digress! While dealing with the mess she created, she sings:

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!

Granted, her reason for saying this didn’t occur because of the greatest of reasons, but Elsa’s words are powerful and provide great advice for how we all should live.

Everyone has worries regarding the way others perceive them. While some people are comfortable being judged, others are not.  In “Let It Go,” Elsa realizes she can’t continue to pretend to be someone she isn’t and really lets go of her need to appear perfect, which she isn’t because nobody is.  We need to do the same.  Maybe there’s a quirky part of our personality that is an acquired taste.  Hiding that part of who we are prevents us from being ourselves and being comfortable with who we are.  We need to stop being ashamed!  

So how does one do this?

The only advice here is to truly be yourself.  Sure, others may judge you but stop putting others’ opinions above your own.  Odds are, the part of yourself you are hiding is a part of yourself you actually like.  Let your opinion of yourself matter more than what other people think.  If you notice that you don’t think highly of yourself, well that’s a completely different  issue that we can work on later.  

So liberate yourself and be you.  I bet the real you is pretty amazing!

Using children’s instruments to recreate a song is pretty ridiculous but if Idina Menzel cared about looking silly, this awesome moment wouldn’t exist!  Check out Jimmy Fallon, Idina Menzel, and The Roots letting their dork flags fly during “Let It Go.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17QQcK4l6Yw&feature=kp

Courage

The Wizard of Oz has some of the most amazing life lessons embedded inside a beautiful story loved by children and adults alike.  The Wizard, although a fraud, makes many truthful comments that apply to our lives. At one point, when talking to The Cowardly Lion, he says, “ You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.” I love this quote because it’s such a simple statement that shows The Cowardly Lion’s flawed thinking.  

Our past experiences and viewpoints have a way of determining the way we interpret things.   While our view may not be entirely wrong, we get so stuck in our way of thinking that we hold ourselves back.  The Cowardly Lion decided he lacked bravery and made that a self-fulfilling prophecy that held him back.  We have a tendency to do the same thing but a small shift in thinking can change the way we see things.  This, in turn, can transform our lives.  It sounds simple in nature, and it truly is, but being able to think outside of our normal thought patterns can be tricky.

David Anttony wrote a great and short article about changing your thinking. Not surprisingly, he connects perspective changes to wisdom. He suggests:

  • letting go of thoughts that don’t serve us
  • asking ourselves better questions.

I think his advice is sound and worth a shot.  What do you have to lose other than faulty thought patterns that hold you back?  Here is a link to his article: 

http://www.thestrokefoundation.com/index.php/attitude/14-how-to-transform-your-life-by-seeing-things-from-a-different-perspective

Changing the way we think requires us to leave our comfort zone. Being willing to do so shows a tremendous amount of courage already…and you thought this would be hard!