A lesson from Shrek

“Don’t do it Fiona!” I’m yelling at my TV, as princess Fiona is about to marry Lord Farquaad. I can’t believe it’s happening, has she forgotten everything Shrek has done? I mean can’t she see what I see? Just as all hope is lost and the feeling in our lounge room is dark, there’s a noise in the background? Of course, it’s Donkey! Flying through the glass of the old church, riding on the back of his own secret love affair – the Dragon. Next, Shrek burst through the door and… well you know what happens next, it’s a happy ending and they go onto to make a few more movies that follow a similar plot.

“Again, again, again. Please Daddy can we watch it one more time?” If you’re a parent you’ve heard this before and like me you probably catch yourself singing the lyrics to Frozen whilst waiting in line at the local café. Isn’t it funny how kids can find the joy in watching the same movie over and over, yet as adults we see things once and toss them onto the scrap heap never to be seen again. Maybe there’s a method to their madness? Perhaps there’s a lesson lurking amidst these Disney movies that they’ve been trying to show us all this time. I’m happy to tell you I’ve found it and can finally shed light on what we’ve all been missing. Who knows after reading this blog you might be free from watching another animated movie for the rest of your time. Life has a funny way of doing that, you know, giving you the same lesson over and over until you graduate from it. So here it is, lets call it a lesson from Shrek and hopefully… your graduation.

I’ve learnt to love fairytales. Not just because it was easier to accept that it was now a key part of my life with a little girl, but also because it taught me the single most important core value I have today. That is, to live life with a fairy tale attitude. For years I told myself to be positive and expected the same from anybody around me. But if I’m honest, on many occasions I felt like a fraud placing this expectation on others knowing how difficult it was to maintain myself. If we’re real we know that life isn’t always positive, parking tickets hurt, relationships get shaky, the economy can crash, people will pass and wars are real. So I shifted, I decided that if it was impossible to always be positive; then I would focus instead on being optimistic. After all, as bad as the morning might be the day can get better. As tough as the week is, the month can turn around and if it’s not your best month well there’s a whole year to look forward to. I found being optimistic achievable and I learnt it in my lounge room with my two year old daughter. In fact I learnt it watching Shrek, Frozen, lady and the tramp and all the classics. The thing about fairy tales is that 95% of the story is bad. The antagonist always has the upper hand, there’s never enough time! I mean think about it with 5 minutes left Anna is Frozen, even I was a little worried that some how the directors had forgotten how this was meant to end. But isn’t that the magic of fairytales? That despite how dark it can feel, how impossible it might seem. They always have a happy ending. I mean lets be honest we all gave up hope for Woody in Toy Story right? That was until we reminded ourselves that we were watching a fairy tale and with that realization we instantly felt at ease. We know within ourselves that despite the obstacles our favorite characters will face, its going to work out for them. Imagine if you looked at your own life the same way? Imagine if you truly believed that no matter the odds, no matter who you were up against or even how impossible it might seem. Life had a happy ending waiting for you. Wouldn’t you feel more at ease? There’s a saying that reads, “if things always work out in the end, if it hasn’t worked out, then its just not the end.” When I read this quote it reminds me to live my life with a fairytale attitude, having faith that even if its 95% negative I’m just around the corner from my happy ending. Thinking this way has served me incredibly well in business and in life, I hope it can do the same for you. So next time someone takes your park, you get cut off at the intersection, your boss seems to take out their personal issues on you or your clients don’t turn up for that rescheduled meeting. Remember maybe its all a part of your fairytale and you are on your way to your happy ending.

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