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8 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Pixar Movies

8 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Pixar Movies

If you grew up watching Pixar movies, you might remember all the exciting childhood moments your favorite characters brought to your living room. When they went on adventures, made new friends and helped each other overcome obstacles, you felt like you were right there with them.

Pixar doesn’t just create movies that make us laugh, cry and secretly wonder if our stuffed animals come to life when we leave the house, though. They have created a franchise full of stories and characters that actually managed to teach us a few things about life, even if we didn’t realize it at the time. Here are some examples.

1. Toy Story

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    Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase isn’t just for toys. Trapped by the evil neighbor kid and discovering he can’t fly didn’t keep him down for long, and we can soar through life with the same attitude. We can’t be the best at everything, but we can be pretty good at some things, maybe even many of them. We just have to believe we can succeed, and find a way to make it happen.

    With perseverance and faith, the possibilities are infinite.

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    2. A Bug’s Life

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      Flik’s lesson to Dot about being small and unable to fly is about a lot more than physical flight. Like Dot, we all have those moments where we don’t feel big or experienced enough to do what we feel we’re ready to do. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, though, doesn’t mean it never will.

      Every still moment is just life’s way of letting us know it’s time to slow down and grow.

      3. Monsters, Inc.

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        Mike and Sully have been through a lot together since they met at MU. Like all good friends and roommates, they have their differences, which often result in arguments. When the going gets tough, though, they always stick together. In the end, no matter how much they get on our nerves, our friends are the most important thing of all.

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        Our true friends will always be there when we need them most. We don’t have to wander through life’s obstacles alone.

        4. Finding Nemo

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          Our favorite blue fish is known not only for her forgetfulness, but also for her optimism. No matter the dangers Dory and Marlin face on their quest to find Nemo, she is without fail the voice of positivity. She never stops swimming, and neither should we. We’ll come face-to-face with sharks and get stung by jellyfish. Eventually, we’ll get to where we need to go.

          When life gets you down, just keep swimming.

          5. The Incredibles

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            Edna’s not just your average supersuit designer. There’s a lot of wisdom packed into such a small person, but we probably missed it the first few times around since she talks a thousand miles a minute. The best thing about Edna is that she’s not one to glance over her shoulder. Once it’s behind her, there’s no looking back. Look at all she’s managed to accomplish with that clever philosophy.

            What happened yesterday is over. The present is our key to owning our futures.

            6. Up

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              Ellie taught Carl the lesson of a lifetime when they were only kids: if you can’t find adventure where you are, it’s out there somewhere waiting for you to discover it. When we feel like we’re stuck in the same old place living the same uneventful life, it might be time to make a change. Maybe floating away to South America is a little much for our current financial situation, but never say never.

              Adventure is never far away. We only need to let our imaginations be our guide.

              7. Brave

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                Merida is good at a lot of things, including archery. She’s not so good at getting what she wants, though, until she realizes her fate was right there in front of her the whole time. Sometimes where we want to go and where we end up don’t seem to line up, but they will. We just have to be brave and face what’s ahead.

                When we take a deep breath and take aim, everything will turn out the way it was always supposed to be.

                8. Inside Out

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                  Fear holds us back from doing a lot of things, but it also serves as a reminder that avoiding the absolute worst case scenario is actually a good thing. Sometimes we’re in a tough place and have to learn to take life’s challenges one day at a time.

                  No matter what happened today, the most important thing is that we survived it, and we’ll make it through tomorrow, too.

                  We’ve only covered a handful of the Pixar classics that can learn and inspire us. Now that you’ve made it to the end of the article, you’re free to go make some popcorn and indulge in a much-needed Pixar movie marathon. Enjoy!

                  Featured photo credit: Lucius Kwok via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                  The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                  The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                  In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

                  Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

                  Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

                  Conflicts are literally everywhere.

                  Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

                  Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

                  Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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                  Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

                  Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

                  Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

                  The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

                  Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

                  Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

                  How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

                  Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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                  Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

                  Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

                  How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

                  Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

                  Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

                  Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

                  How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

                  Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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                  Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

                  Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

                  How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

                  Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

                  Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

                  Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

                  How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

                  Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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                  Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

                  Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

                  How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

                  Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

                  Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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