10 Life Lessons “The Lego Movie” Will Teach You

the-lego-movie-sky-crane**SPOILER ALERT – THIS BLOG POST WILL REVEAL THINGS THAT MAY RUIN THE MOVIE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT…SO GO AND WATCH IT FIRST**

It is no surprise to the people that know me that I LOVED ‘The Lego Movie’, after all I am an avid fan of not only the toy but also the cultural phenomenon that it has created as well as the company and it’s history perfecting ‘The Brick’. With the movie having just been released in Australia on BluRay last Thursday, I’m not going to lie, I have my copy and I may have watched it several times already.

Once I enjoyed the movie a few times I began to look a little deeper, you know, looking at what is going on in the background, listening for those really subtle jokes that I missed previously and seeking those inner lessons that are not spelt out for you but are either humorously glazed over or, aren’t specifically mentioned, they are just expected that you’ll unconsciously pick up on them. Below are my top 10:
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1. You will always succeed when your WHY is bigger than you.

Emmet’s WHY was to save the world. I’ve written on this topic before and you can read about the importance of your WHY here. In short, when you are attached to a cause larger than you, you are far more inspired to push, because success comes from persistence in the face of adversity and that persistence is drawn from your desire…your WHY. In Emmet’s case he had the entire world relying on him to save them, he was the only one who could save them….well according to the prophecy. Your why might not be to save the world but it might be to give your family the best upbringing you can, or to help your company grow and become world class or to raise awareness for a particular cause. Whatever it is, the larger your why, the better.

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2. There are no bad ideas.

Double-decker Couch. Need I say more. I am a firm believer that there are no bad ideas, just ideas that might work better in other situations or at another time. When Vitruvius and Wyldstyle venture into Emmet’s mind they find that the only idea he had ever had was for a double decker couch. To which Vitruvius responds “That idea is the worst”. Just because someone says your idea won’t work doesn’t mean that it won’t. Maybe they don’t share your vision or can’t see the benefit of your idea like you can. As we both know that idea which was ‘the worst’ ended up saving all of them.

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3. Self-Doubt is within everyone

You’ll notice a common theme in most movies that involve a hero, an adventure, a villain and a great challenge and that is that the hero of our story always goes through a phase of self-doubt. I used to think that this was just for the story but I have found in life that everyone has self-doubt at times. Times when you might feel that you aren’t good enough or can’t do something. When you realise that everyone is sharing the same fears such as self-doubt, it is incredibly liberating because you also, in that moment, realise that it isn’t you that is scared, it’s apart of the human condition and has nothing to do with you.

Toy Story … a still from The Lego Movie featuring President Business, played by Will Ferrell.


5. Perfection isn’t a goal – no matter how much Krazy Glue you use.

Perfection is a strategy we run when we do not know what we want to achieve…we just say we want “the best”. Now we need to realise two things firstly, things can always be improved and secondly perfection is a state of completion. Therefore if things are always being improved then nothing truly is complete and as a result nothing can be perfect. President Business needed to learn this exact point.

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4. It’s OK to be upset

Ahhhh UniKitty, we love her constant happiness and pleasant demeanour, but just like people, bottling up emotion is never a healthy thing to do. Living in a society where everything is about positive psychology and happiness it is crucial to understand that there is a time and place for the rest of the emotional spectrum as well. Need to cry? Then do it. Need to have a bad day? Have one and enjoy it. If we constantly build up every emotion except for happiness then we are sure to have a psychotic break…just like UniKitty.

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6. There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’
Everybody knows that Batman is a lone rider, he doesn’t need help from anybody. However when you’re facing an entire army of robot mini figs and your friends are losing the battle, it is time to put your pride to the side and become a team player to ensure success against the bad guy. Never be too proud to ask for assistance, there are plenty of people in this world that are ready to help you succeed and get ahead in life, all you need to do is ask.

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7. Just because someone says something, don’t always assume it is true
There are two great examples of this in The Lego Movie. When Wyldstyle gets on TV and says “You don’t know me but I’m on TV so you can trust me” and when Vitruvius says that he made up the Prophecy. It is a lesson that everybody really needs to learn in today’s society of globalisation. Just because we see something on TV, or in a commercial, or on social media it doesn’t mean that it is true. Do some research, make your own judgement, become a free-thinker – question everything.

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8. Everybody can be extraordinary

There was nothing extraordinary about Emmet. We know this because the prophecy was made up, so any worker could have found the Piece of Resistance. However because everybody believed that Emmet was the one, he had immense support and (in the end) the belief that he could achieve great things. The truth is, we all have this within us.

 

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9. Your world is only as you perceive it

As far as Emmet was concerned the only city that existed was Bricksburg, he knew of nothing else until he met Wyldstyle. The world is only how you experience it, it doesn’t mean that is how it actually is. There might be something that you don’t know about yet…just like Emmet. While science tries to prove and disprove facts about the world, we are always updating what we know about how the world works. For instance, once we perceived the world as flat, then we learnt otherwise.

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10. Nobody is a master at something the first time they try

Remember the first time Emmet built anything without instructions…with the two 2×1 bricks. Useless. It was his first time and unlike the other Master Builders he wasn’t going to be building elaborate constructions. Things take practice, everybody has a first time and inevitably we are going to suck at it. Persistence leads to mastery, don’t give up, keep going, practising, failing, trying again.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and now over to you. Do you have a favourite film that has taught you some valuable lessons? I’d love for you to share them below 🙂

 

 

Is It OK to get plastic surgery if you’re bullied?

bullyingOn January 15th 2014 The International News reported an article (HERE) on children who are born with facial deformities receiving plastic surgery to help them avoid or minimize bullying.

When I began reading this article I thought wow, what a great imitative in helping children increase their confidence and improve their self-image by helping minimize or eliminate major deformity. Now when I say major I am talking vascular birthmarks, microtia and hearing restoration, cleft palate and so forth.

As the article continues my opinion takes a heavy swing in the opposite direction as the article leads to children who “have complained that because of abnormalities such as a large nose or misshapen eyes, they have been relentlessly picked on and become increasingly isolated at school”. I think my opinion rests here. While I can appreciate that treating a major deformity may positively impact the child’s outlook on life I don’t believe that having a large nose is basis enough for work of this nature to be performed on a child. My argument then is broken down into three areas: The physical, the psychological and the bully.

From a physical perspective, Children are still growing into their bodies, disturbing this natural process surely cannot be healthy for the child’s body and development.

Psychologically, what are we teaching our children? I am referring to both children that are being bullied and those that are watching other children undergo these procedures to avoid bullying. I feel the biggest message here is that there is something wrong with YOU, that YOU are at fault, not the bully. It emphasizes that YOU are the one that should change and that the bully is right for doing what they’re doing because, heck, there’s something not right, to the extent you have to fix it!!

Thirdly, the bully. In my experience (and this is firsthand experience) they aren’t out to attack you on anything in particular, they just want a reason. The bully will find ANY excuse no matter how small it is to pick on you. Going out and fixing your nose will either a) lead them to pick on you for getting work done or b) they’ll just find something else to bully you about…even if they have to make something up.

I feel that we are walking a very fine line between treating serious deformities and getting procedures done just because someone thinks your nose is too big. Where is the line drawn and who makes this decision?

It should be noted here that the children that are undergoing these procedures are also required to undergo counseling and also have a support network of family and friends. The organization behind the assistance of correcting birth deformities ‘Little Baby Face Foundation’ list on their website a wide range of services including an extensive research and support section, which is reassuring that these children are in safe hands for major surgical operations and that the time pre-op and post-operation is taken very seriously.

Where do you think the line should be drawn on this topic? What are your opinions on plastic surgery to fend off bullying? I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section!

I’d like to finish this post with this message: If you are the victim of bullying your biggest weapon against bullying is your voice. Speak up and out about what you’re going through and importantly who is doing it. The sole reason I put a stop to my bullying was because I spoke up. If people don’t listen, speak louder. Don’t give up and keep moving forward.

-Darcey

The Importance Of Knowing Why

I caught up with a friend today over lunch and a coffee and we were discussing my future and the reshuffling that is beginning to take place. As I explained to him the reasons I have decided to make the change he looked at me and said “So what was the reason for making this change to begin with?” because while I had plenty to say about what I was doing, I hadn’t explained the catalyst for the change. I replied to him simply with “Well, not being with my family at Christmas was the reason that I felt this change was necessary”

Change can be a big and scary thing however when you hold onto your “why”, the reason you are doing it, it doesn’t seem so scary. If it does, your reason just isn’t potent enough, try again. Do you know your reason for doing what you are doing? For the career that you’re in? For the business that you’ve started? When you attach a strong enough reason to an action anything is possible.

So, how do you come up with your why? Just ask yourself ‘for what purpose am I doing this?’ or ‘for what purpose do I want this?’ If you don’t feel a strong emotional attachment to that answer ask again ‘Ok so if I have that [the answer to the first question], what would that give me?’ and keep going until you find an answer that pulls on your heartstrings or fires up your drive to take action!

Knowing your why is one of the keys to enormous success. Make sure you know what yours is!!

And what happens if you don’t have a ‘why’ I hear you all eagerly asking. Well, you aren’t trying to get anywhere or achieve anything, you become comfortable in your place, boredom sets in, this leads to an almost depressive like state and you end up feeling stuck and helpless.

Having a why links back to your purpose, your reason for living, whether that is raising well-mannered and respectable children, providing for your family, becoming the number one business in your industry it gives you drive to achieve and you feel like you have unlimited options at your disposal.

The power of the ‘why’ is an extremely strong force.

-Darcey

Escaping The Venus Fly Trap

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A carnivorous plant that lives natively on the East Coast of the United States captures its prey by waiting with its ‘mouth’ open and once stimulated clamps shut. As the prey wriggles and writhes to get out of the trap the plant begins to hermitically seal its clamped jaws, once airtight the prey is then digested in what has just become its tomb.

There is a striking parallel between the Venus Fly Trap and the behaviour exhibited by some ‘friends’ although one would expect to not be sealed in a hermetic chamber and then digested, it could be seen as almost a psychological chamber. The games they play, the guilt they put you through because you’re the one to blame for everything and the gifts they give to reel you back in so that they can play their devilish game all over again.  I relate this to the Fly Trap because the more you fight it and the more you go back, the tighter the grip, you are the beetle writhing to escape and yet the jaws are becoming stronger.

We all have a friend or have had a friend in the past like this so how do we get rid of them? Well, maybe you’re lucky enough to have that friend wake up and realize the damage that it is causing or another solution might be to find out the purpose of this behaviour, what are they getting from this? Once you know what they are getting, find another way to more resourcefully meet that need. This, of course requires that they are open to this and are aware enough that the problem is them, in most cases we are not that lucky.

The hard truth is, sometimes you need to let these people go, and they maybe family, they maybe your best friend that you grew up with and sometimes it is you but your happiness comes first. You would be extremely surprised at the changes that manifest in and around your life by removing those that drain it. It is a time when you need to surround yourself with the strongest, most supportive (genuinely, as in have no other agenda) people you know and you must use every ounce of your being to resist the trap, you must ignore the texts, block the calls, reject the gifts. Some instances will probably feel like a breakup it will hurt that much.

One day you will crawl out of the busted Venus Fly Trap victorious, there will be an unusual aura in the air, something that you haven’t experienced in a long time, colours will seem to be brighter, the air cleaner, the weather finer. You see happiness everywhere, something that had been lost for such a long time, smiles alone seem to improve your day, you begin to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy the small things in life. Your entire perspective flips and it is like you are born again.

Step 1 – Plan your escape.

 

-Darcey

 

The Counsel Of Excellence

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Every night before you go to sleep, you close your eyes and breathe slowly. You dream of a large room with a round table in the middle surrounded by empty chairs. Your favourite paintings hang on the wall, busts of those most successful are perched on columns between the ceiling high windows which have been draped in the most luxurious curtains you care to imagine , you sit patiently with your eye keenly on the large double doors awaiting your guests. As they enter in single file they too take their seats at the table.

You’ve just called a counsel meeting with the intention of discussing your goals and dreams, the problems in your life, the obstacles that you’ve encountered and you are seeking the expertise of those who you’ve summoned. Your panel of experts are there to provide inspiration, knowledge, skills, ideas and ways to move forward.

The question is: Who will you invite to sit at your table? Which people from the present or the past will be invited to help you succeed? Who inspires you? Who do you look up too? Who are your role models?

What does your counsel say about the items that you have brought to the table?

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I actually frequently do this, and my counsel changes as well as I find more fitting personalities whose goals, beliefs, values and attitudes more closely match those required to get me to where I wish to be. Often, asking Mademoiselle Chanel what she would have done when I am unsure around career or Abraham Lincoln when I have a concern around leadership definitely feels more congruent and likely to succeed knowing that I am in the presence of artists.

Try it on. Even if you don’t, it’s still a good idea to know and appreciate your role models so that their success and mindset can flow into you.

-Darcey

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Question: How would you spend your last days?

I came across one of the most beautiful, inspirational and life changing videos that I’ve seen on YouTube to date and it really made me ask what I would call a ‘high quality question’. Take a moment to watch the video before reading on!

Not many of us know when our time will be over. You and I don’t know if we have 50 years, 5 years, 5 months or 5 days left, all we know is that one day it will come. For most it is something that we enjoy remaining blissfully ignorant about because it allows us to justify living a life that is “just OK”, where you are just getting by and that’s OK because you’ve plenty of time to fulfil that dream of yours.

I believe the exact opposite should be true, the fact that we don’t know should be enough to begin living your life, achieving those dreams and crossing those goals off of your bucket list. If you were given a specific time frame for which you had left, it poses the most magical of questions; what are you going to do with the time afforded to you?

With that question answered I’ll put forward another; what is stopping you from starting today?

-Darcey

A Life that Sizzles and Pops

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Monday Morning Inspiration

A Life That Sizzles and Pops

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” — Shauna Niequist

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