I’ve always been a fan of Disney movies. In today’s world where we get a shocker after another of bad news, a feel-good movie that comes with a guaranteed ‘ and they lived happily ever after’ ending is a relief.
But the latest Disney Pixar’s Soul had more to it than what meets the eye. For starters, the protagonist dies within the first 15 minutes of the movie. Don’t worry it only gets better from there.
What I loved about this movie was beyond the main storyline of Joe finding his way back to his body to live the night he’s dreamed of all his life, there are so many parallel threads, each of them as profound and intriguing. Be it the uninterested in everything on earth new soul 22, or Dez, the barber, or Dorothea Willams, the famous Jazz musician.
- Don’t judge someone by what they are doing currently — that may or may not be a true reflection of their potential.
When Dorothea hears that Ahmir recommends a ‘Middle School Band Teacher’ for the band, she passes an immediate judgment. “So, we’re down to middle school band teachers now.” — Dorothea
We all pass such judgments based on designations, where someone did their college from, or worse, where they were born. But the same Dorothea is blown away by how Joe works the piano. So don’t evaluate someone by superficial things.
Their present reflects the opportunities ‘the past’ presented them with, not of what they are truly capable of.
2. Work is just one part of our lives. We can handle that without becoming obsessive.
The movie shows lost souls stuck in the middle of nowhere, between the great before and the great beyond.
“Lost souls are not that different from those in the zone. The zone is enjoyable but when that joy becomes an obsession it becomes disconnected from life.” ~ Moonwind
We’ve all been obsessed with work at some point in our lives. But we miss out on all the other things life has to offer when we obsess over just one aspect. But the more we obsess about work, the more we become anxious and disconnect from what really matters in life. It is time we realize that work is but a small part of our lives. Let us maintain it that way without losing sight of what’s most important.
3. Your spark isn’t your purpose.
In today’s day and age, finding one’s purpose has become an obsessive and compulsive need. As 22 discovers in the movie, our purpose is to live. Maybe most of us find that through a spark or our talents. But it’s a means to an end — to live life in every moment and not the end in itself.
4. “Jazzing” in life can mean reveling in the daily mundane
“Is All This Living Really Worth Dying For?”
22 has gotten used to the You seminar routine in the Great Before and sees no reason in going through all that effort of living on earth when she could do this instead. So when she sees Joe Gardner who lived nothing more than a mediocre life wanting to go back to his life, she is puzzled.
However, all that changes when the new soul 22 lands on earth. Every experience in Joe’s body feels exquisite, and she equates living to ‘Jazzing’ as Jazz meant everything to him.
There’s beauty in the ordinary — eating a slice of hot pizza, having that conversation with a barber, goofing around the vents on a busy street. The question is, are you open to set aside your conditioned and colored perspectives to view the mundane with a fresh lens every single day?
5. Life doesn’t always go according to “THE PLAN.” And, that’s alright!
We’ve seen plenty of movies where you have a dream, and the universe conspires after many a struggle to deliver more than what you could ever imagine. The simple story of the barber’s plans of being a vet to enjoying being a barber shows that sometimes life does not go according to plan.
And, that’s okay. Joe finds himself astounded that the barber didn’t always dream of being a barber cause he’s the best at his job. The barber may not have planned on becoming one, but he sure as hell made sure he became the best hairdresser in town.
“All the times I’ve been so close to getting to my dreams. — something always gets in the way.” — Joe Gardner
Every time our life doesn’t go as planned, we have 2 choices. Wallow in the past and keep asking “Why Me” to the entire world. Or accept the reality and make the most of the hand we are dealt with. The choice is ours, and so are the consequences.
And, finally, when Joe is given another chance to go back to his life on earth, he realizes, there is only one thing to do that matters —
“I’m Going To Live Every Minute Of It.”
Shwetha Sivaraman, is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and life coach at Being Meraklis, a community dedicated to inspire and impact people to live life to the fullest.