I Want to Be Just Like Dory! What Dory Taught Me About Life.
Finding Nemo was my oldest son, Gavin's absolute favorite movie when he was a toddler and into preschool.
He would bat his little eyes at me and say "Memo Mama, Memo." and that was it. I was done. We popped that DVD in and settled into watch the movie together yet again.
Thirteen years later Finding Dory is here and as soon as I heard that it was coming to theaters I knew I would be dragging Gavin to see it, or so I thought. No dragging necessary for that boy. He was excited to go!
Throughout the movie, crunching on my fave caramel and butter popcorn, I kept catching nuggets of wisdom coming from our much adored Dory.
Some of our best life lessons can be found in a Disney movie. Here are a few of the lessons that Dory taught me throughout the latest adventure of Dory and Nemo.
Just keep swimming.
"Just keep swimming" is Dory's signature phrase in the movie. When she doesn't know what to do next she just keeps moving forward. She just keeps swimming.
What Dory reminded me was that even though I can't see the outcome or where the road will take me, I simply need to take the next right step. Assess what is going on around me and make the best move forward I can make based on the information I have in the moment. That is the best any of us can do.
We adults, we have been hurt and disappointed a time or two. So much that we find ourselves gun shy, only wanting to pull the trigger when we know what the final outcome will be. We get so paralyzed by the unknown that we don't do anything. We take no action to avoid the pain of a possible negative outcome.
But the truth of the matter is that time is going to pass no matter what. I, for one, don't want to be sitting in this same spot a year from now. I desire change and growth. In order to experience those things I must "keep swimming" even when I don't know the final outcome. Heck, I don't even know what is around the corner that I can't see. But what I can do is take the next right step and "keep swimming."
Be proud of who you are.
Dory struggles with loving herself just as she is. She is hard on herself because she easily forgets things and can't remember the important parts of her life, like her parents. But as she moves forward in her journey in pursuit of finding her parents, she gains confidence and pride in who she is.
For years I wanted to simply fit in, be like everyone else so I could be "proud" of who I was. It didn't work. I had no joy, no happiness, and no contentment.
I decided that instead I would begin to love myself as I am, feeling confident in my uniqueness. That is when true freedom and contentment started to overshadow my feelings of weakness and inadequacies.
We are all created to be unique. When we love ourselves as we are and be proud of who we are designed to be we find peace, joy, and love for ourself. We learn to embrace our strengths and not focus so much on our weaknesses.
Go after your God given dreams with conviction.
As soon as Dory had a glimmer of recollection of her parents her decision was made. She was determined to find them no matter what. She had strong conviction that she MUST find her parents. The dream of seeing them again and being a family kept her moving forward, no matter the obstacle.
I want to be just like Dory, brave and filled with conviction to never give up until I reach my goals.
It starts with knowing WHAT you are working for and WHY you are working for it. Without knowing the what and the why the dream will fizzle and die. Dory wanted more than anything to see her parents again. She craved the family unit that she had spent years without. Her goal was to find her parents but she wanted to find them because she wanted her family back.
I am a believer in writing out your goals and developing a plan of action to accomplish them. This sets us up for success. Without a plan most of the time our goals turn to vapor, disappearing into the world of lost dreams.
But, and hear me on this, we can't wait until we have all the answers to get started. We must move forward towards our goal even when we don't know the outcome, as Dory taught us by "just keep swimming". Having a defined goal, deciding that we will not stop until we accomplish it, creating a plan of action based on the details we see in front of us, and taking immediate action is what will accomplish our goals.
There is always another solution.
My favorite part of the story was watching Dory problem solve. When one door closed she looked for another door. When she sought out help from someone and they didn't know the answer she asked someone else. She didn't plop down and give up when the situation looked bleak. Her eyes were always open to a solution.
Her perseverance made her unstoppable and ultimately was the reason for her success in finding her parents (sorry for the spoiler alert but surely Disney wouldn't let Dory not find her parents).
Finding solutions is all about perseverance and looking for answers. In the pursuit of accomplishing our goals, we will come up against obstacles. What will set us apart from those that don't accomplish their goals is the determination to continue to look for another solution. Solutions are fueled by perseverance.
I hope you find as much encouragement from Dory as I did. If you haven't had a chance to go and see the movie in the theater yet you totally should! The imagery is absolutely stunning, the movie is a bit of a nail biter, and super inspirational.
The next time you are up against a challenge or goal you have set for yourself, remember Dory and commit to "just keep swimming." You are stronger than you think!
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