Remember when you were seven and a great Saturday night involved choosing from your mate's Disney collection (which always seemed superior to yours) and eating a load of Haribo? Remember enjoying the same thing when you were 8? And 12? And 16? And 23?
There's something about Disney that's completely timeless. You may have guessed from the fact that I have this blog that I see myself as something of a special snowflake. Trust me, if you watch as much Disney as I do, you'll start to believe it too.
The wisdom to be found in a Disney film is a special mix of practical (don't eat apples from strangers) and the downright inspiring, which is what you will find here.
Read on for 8 Disney quotations that will mean more to you now than they ever could when you were seven.
1. The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you.
- Grandma, Moana
You can always trust Disney’s elderly to dish out some cracking advice. As I mentioned the last time I was going on and on about Moana, I think we all have nestled deep in our breastbone that dream that we want to go after.
As we get older and realise that things like water and the bins cost money, it’s easy to let those little glimmers of excitement fall by the wayside in favour of something that, you know, actually pays dollar.
But let Moana’s grandma be your guide: if there’s a quiet voice inside you that just isn’t shutting up, you need to listen to it.
2. The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.
- Fa Zhou (aka Mulan’s Dad), Mulan
If, like me, you decided to enrol on a demanding grad scheme that you really weren’t mentally prepared for, this one’s for you. Flying the nest of university (or school) life into the big bad world of work, it’s hard not to have a total meltdown when things don’t work out how you wanted.
Just remind yourself that, if you can rise to the challenges that come your way, you’ll emerge from the trial triumphant, much like a phoenix, ready to tackle anything that comes your way with grace and aplomb.
3. Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.
- Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas
Another great quotation from another great (fictional) elderly woman. Grandmother Willow hits the nail on the head here. In our twenties, most of us are still trying to find our feet, and probably have family/social/personal expectations of what we think we should be doing with ourselves.
But just because all your friends are signing up with certain companies, or your neighbour knows someone that can get you an interview at *insert a workplace that you really don’t fancy here*, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
Going your own way is daunting, but knowing you’re doing something because you want to, and not just because it was an easy option, will leave you much more satisfied in the long run.
4. I can handle this
- Meg, Hercules
So if we decide to follow all the advice above, by now life is probably seeming pretty tough. Here we are, choosing a life of adversity, abandoning the easy path and following our dreams despite all the evidence pointing towards imminent bankruptcy.
That’s where Meg comes in. If the mantra ‘I can handle this’ can get her through being squeezed to death by a sea monster, it can certainly help you ride the rough tides on the road to happiness. (See also Dory: Just keep swimming).
5. Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.
- Rafiki, The Lion King
I can’t help but wonder if many 7 year olds watching the Lion King for the first time are cut up by things they did and said when they were 4. Fast forward to your twenties though, and the past can be pretty debilitating at times.
Allow me to revert to 10 on the cheesometer just for a moment to remind you that the people that matter care about who you were 5 years ago, but will never let that change their opinion of who you are today. Use the past as a learning experience, never as a barrier.
And on that note…
6. ‘Let it go’
- Elsa, Frozen
Come on, you just know they didn’t write than line with ten year old kids in mind – that’s why they made Olaf. Elsa is for any millennial who’s feeling f**ked off by life not going the way they planned.
Whatever’s got you riled, remind yourself that staying angry with it is going to hurt you a lot more than the person or deed you are annoyed by. Do whatever you need to do to de-stress, then get back to living your life.
7. ‘I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.’
- Alice, Alice in Wonderland.
I love this one because it speaks to the worst enemy we have in all of us. Whether the advice you’re giving yourself is about relationships, getting ahead in work or standing up for yourself in awkward social situations, no matter how clearly we can see what’s right, we don’t always follow through in the moment.
Remember that you’re only human, and no Disney princess is perfect either. Remember the time Pocahontas inadvertently brings about the death of Kocoum? Or when Ariel gets herself into a scrape so bad her Dad has to sell his soul to his worst enemy? Puts your problems in perspective, huh.
8. Hey I’ve been turned into a cow, can I go home?
- Random soldier, The Emperor’s New Groove
While we’re remembering to be kind to ourselves, let’s also remember that it’s physically impossible for every day to be a stellar 10/10 best self day. Some days, we just need to head home and hide under our duvet.
But let's be honest, the thing that's going to drag us out of that rut? Disney.
Walt, thank you for giving us advice that's carried us for the last 20 years. Here's to the next.