Tag Archives: Cinderella

What Trolls teaches us about happiness

I live quite close to a cinema which means that most weekends my daughter and I head off to see a film.

Frozen

Most films are just a bit of fun, but I sometimes pick up on a key message from a film that I feel is worth talking about. I was early to pick up on the lyrics of Let it Go from Frozen

  1. It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small

  2. 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

Cinderella

Then when I went to see the re-make of Cinderella, I found the message about her mother gave her on her deathbed “Have courage and be kind” was interpreted by Cinderella in a way that allowed her to not make other people’s behaviour about her. I took a couple of messages out of that film

  1. A moment is as good or as bad as you make it. It is your thoughts that define your experience

  2. You are only responsible for your own behaviour, not that of others.

Trolls

When I went to see Trolls I was expecting to see a fun and slightly annoying kids film. I was wrong. It was a very funny film with great music

But above all, there is a really good lesson in Trolls

Happiness is an inside job and not created by material things or anything you consume

In the Trolls you have a race of creatures called the Bergen that learnt to eat Trolls to feel happy.

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Because they ate the Trolls, they believed the only way to be happy was to eat a Troll.

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The Trolls are lead by an annoyingly happy Troll called Poppy. Poppy sees the best in everything. She doesn’t allow anything outside of her to take away her happiness. She goes on a quest with Branch who is unusual because he’s always sad and grumpy.

Through the course of the film,  Poppy teaches the Bergen that they can find happiness through connection and activities. She shows that consuming something from outside of you doesn’t make you happy. Happiness was there all along, you just need to learn to unlock it.

At the end of the film, Poppy loses hope, and for the first time gets sad. She feels she’s let everyone down. When she does, Branch looks on her and realises that the way she feels comes from the way she sees the world. He realises that we can choose to be happy or sad, and by changing himself to be happy, he also shows Poppy she can too.

I will leave you with the final song that Branch sings to Poppy to help her realise that happiness is an inside job.

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Things we can learn from Cinderella

A couple of days ago, my daughter and I went to see the new Disney Cinderella film. We all know the story. A young girl is forced to work as a servant by her wicked stepmother and step-sisters when her father dies. She meets a prince and lives happily ever after.

Disney do a good job of re-making films like this. They are also very good at including powerful lessons – if you are listening for them.

“Have courage and be kind” says Cinderella’s mother on her death bed.

With this mantra, Cinderella is able to take on what happens to her when her whole life changes. For each thing that happens to her, she uses this mantra to appreciate the moment. When she gets put in the dusty old attic she appreciates that she will have peace from her sisters. When she gets locked away from the prince when he is looking for someone to try on the shoe, she dances and smiles because she will always have her memories.

As I discussed it with my daughter after the film, I pointed out that most of us struggle to enjoy the moment in that way. Things that comes from our past or worries about our future become a story that defines us. We don’t see that we can write our story in a better way.

It reminded of a book I read which really resonated with me. In “The Obstacle is the Way” Ryan Holiday looks at how we approach those things that challenge us. It is a lovely, easy read.

At a point later in the film, Cinderella is being locked in her room.

Why are you doing this to me? She asks her stepmother

It’s interesting phrasing. Most of us would ask “What have I done wrong?”. We assume there is something wrong with us. Because her mother told her to be kind and have courage, Cinderella does not take her stepmother’s behaviour as being about her, but rather as being a problem with her stepmother. This takes some doing; to not feel like we have done something wrong, to accept that everyone is screwed up and that people acts based on their own issues, not yours.

So I took two powerful messages from the film (which was also nice to watch, by the way)

  1. A moment is as good or as bad as you make it. It is your thoughts that define your experience
  2. You are only responsible for your own behaviour, not that of others.

Now these lessons are all well and good, but when your subconscious hijacks you then you no longer have the freedom to choose to see things in a different way. You lose your ability to think.

That’s where I come in. I free you up to think. So if you need my help, drop an email to dawn@thinkitchangeit.com and let me work with you to free you.