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Valuable Lessons Disney Movies Can Teach Adults

Valuable Lessons Disney Movies Can Teach Adults

Disney movies are great for keeping the kids entertained so you can get things done. However, the lessons these movies teach don’t just apply to children. Even though they’re cartoons, these classic Disney films impart life lessons even adults can learn from.

1. Tangled

Disney Tangled Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

    …so does…all your hair glow like this? …even down there?

    An overbearing mother grounds her daughter for life. As oppressed girls do when they come of age, the young girl goes wild and falls for the first man she meets. Soon, the girl teams with the older man to rebel against her mother. They live happily ever after until the girl realizes she’s just like her mother.

    Lesson:The more you oppress a person, the more likely they are to do exactly what you don’t want them to.

    2. Alice in Wonderland

    Disney Alice in Wonderland Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

      Watch your drinks, ladies…

      Bored with her day-to-day life of privilege, young Alice begins taking drugs and chasing the white rabbit through Pan’s labyrinth. She travels to a small village in the Amazon where she drinks peyote tea and confronts her mommy issues. Like a typical American travelling overseas, Alice runs amok, eventually drawing the ire of local law enforcement. After inciting a riot, Alice is deported back home, where she now speaks with a pretentiously fake British accent, to the chagrin of friends and family.

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      Lesson: Sometimes you have to just take a chance and travel down the rabbit hole.

      3. Meet the Robinsons

      Disney Meet the Robinsons Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

        Portrait of an American Family…

        Two orphans take very different paths in life–one follows his dreams, while the other envies him for it. Years later, the envious orphan gives up on competing with his adult rival, and instead battles his son. Still a loser, he gets in touch with his inner child, which is the only child you’re allowed to touch in questionable ways.

        Lesson: Jealously looks good on no one.

        4. The Nightmare Before Christmas

        Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

          Next we’ll combine Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day…

          Everyone’s celebrating Halloween, but Jack yearns for Christmas. Jack decides to begin selling Christmas decorations before Halloween. Jack’s decision wreaks havoc on all holidays and towns in the world. Soon, Jack sees the error of his ways, and teams up with Santa to destroy the Boogey Man.

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          Lesson: Walmart puts their Christmas decorations out way too early.

          5. A Goofy Movie

          Disney Goofy Movie Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

            Why don’t we ever talk about my mother?

            A goofy, yet well-meaning, father takes his goofy teenage son on a road trip in order to bond. His son, however, isn’t interested in hanging out with dad–he wants a girl. After much miscommunication between the two goofs, dad finally decides to stop cock-blocking his son and let him grow up.

            Lesson: You have to give your kid space to grow.

            6. Hercules

            Disney Hercules Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

              I’d like another layer of spray tan, please…

              The most perfect human specimen has 100 problems, and a girl is just one. Caught up in his parents’ sibling rivalry, the man grows up poor. Overcoming all obstacles, Hercules saves the world, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after. Centuries later, the poor, muscular Hercules is reimagined as a skinny, wealthy carpenter.

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              Lesson: The more perfect someone looks, the bigger their problems are.

              7. Wreck-It Ralph

              Disney Wreck It Ralph Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

                Good guy Ralph donated his cherry to the homeless…

                Ralph has a problem–he’s a disrupter, and everyone hates him for it. He’s a grown man with no wife or kids, so he’s dedicated to his job. Desperate to fit in, Ralph leaves to earn a medal, befriending a young glitch along the way. Ralph’s quest earns him the respect and acceptance of his neighbors, although he still sleeps alone.

                Lesson: Be compassionate to everyone, especially the outcasts.

                8. Mulan

                Disney Mulan Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

                  I’m  sorry you’re disappointed the man you fell in love with is really a woman…

                  In order to save her father, Mulan pretends to be a boy and joins China’s Million Man Army. As the first woman in the military, Mulan easily outsmarts the brutish men, saves the emperor, and wins the heart of the general. This is one of few examples of consensual relations in the military. By comparison, women in the modern American military fight an Invisible War.

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                  Lesson: Gender roles are overrated–anyone’s capable of changing the world.

                  9. A Bug’s Life

                  Disney Bugs Life Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

                    You gave birth to how many babies?!?

                    In a regimented world, one ant has an idea. Rather than blindly following orders, he seeks ways to make things more efficient for the entire colony, which annoys literally everyone but his best friend. When the grasshoppers attack, however, the ants rally around the quirky one to defeat their formidable foes and reinvigorate the colony.

                    Lesson: Listen to your employees; you never know what great ideas they may have.

                    10. Dinosaur

                    Disney Dinosaur Versability Brian Penny Lifehack

                      Flat-earthers beware…

                      In the prequel to Ice Age, God punishes the dinosaurs for having been placed on Earth by the Devil for the sole purpose of tricking scientists into debunking Christianity. Somehow the cursed demons survive just a smidge longer.

                      Lesson: Evolution happened…deal with it.

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                      Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                      For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                      But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                      It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                      And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                      The Importance of Saying No

                      When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                      In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                      Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                      Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                      Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                      “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                      When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                      How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                      It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                      From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                      We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                      And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                      At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                      The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                      How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                      Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                      But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                      3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                      1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                      Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                      If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                      2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                      When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                      Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                      3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                      When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                      6 Ways to Start Saying No

                      Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                      1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                      One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                      Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                      2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                      Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                      Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                      3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                      Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                      Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                      You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                      4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                      Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                      Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                      5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                      When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                      How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                        Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                        Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                        6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                        If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                        Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                        Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                        Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                        More Tips on How to Say No

                        Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                        [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                        [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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