I can’t help but wonder why we seek profound analytical theory on how to achieve success when we learned it as children, from watching The Lion King.
I spent the past weekend immersed in my younger sister’s college graduation festivities and listened intently as our promising young talent discussed their next steps into the “real world.” Though they spent the last four years learning and discovering, they are fearful that they simply don’t know enough. But they’re wrong. They do.
As we prepare to enter new phases of our lives, we too often look to thought leaders for deep wisdom and guidance that will comfort our journeys to unknown destinations. We turn to those with experience. We yearn for their secrets. We heed their stories. We think they have insight that we don’t have. When we’re unsure of our futures, we look to their pasts.
I grew up watching Disney movies and to this day, their hope, strength and philosophy rival the complex business advice I’m given from my most qualified advisors. The professorial narrative of The Lion King subliminally prepared me to be a business-leader, mentor, sister and friend through themes that transcend boundaries and circumstance.
No matter your industry or career choice, if you practice the following, you will find your place in the circle of life:
Everything exists in a delicate balance, respect all creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
We move through life by way of the support we receive from those around us. Good fortune doesn’t fall from the sky. It happens systematically based on a combination of practical situations and emotional decisions. To earn respect, you have to give it. You will be defined by the choices you make. You can’t go wrong if your intention is good – to all things, of all sizes and in all situations.
Never take more than you give.
People will create moments of opportunity for you when they believe you’re worth it. Our economy isn’t in the mood to give out favors these days, therefore your moments in the sun are based upon impassioned impact. When it comes to landing jobs, you will get what you give. We go out of our way to do good for those who do good for us. We do things for those who are thoughtful, respectful and kind. And nothing short of it.
Accept circumstance and find a way to grow from it.
I don’t have to tell you this, but sh*t isn’t always going to go your way and half of the time (but probably more) it’s going to be your fault. You’re young. You can’t possibly know what you’ll know in 5, 10 or 20 years, no matter who explains it to you. You just don’t know it now. And that’s reality.
My friends make fun of me because I still cry when Mufasa dies (this shouldn’t be a spoiler). It’s sad, but that’s life. It will never go as planned. And that’s okay. You’ll make it through. All that matters is that you don’t let your struggles define you. Poor me is just a poor excuse. When a metaphorical stampede runs you down, it’s not only about getting up again. You have to outrun it. We stand out in this world by being the best. Use each and every circumstance to find a way to be better and faster than those around you.
Throughout your journey, you will face problems of all proportions. Some in your personal world, others on a global scale. Regardless of the caliber of a predicament, it may feel overwhelming because you’re human and you have innate emotion that will weigh on you at times. Fear not, we were born resilient. Our world continues to challenge us, all of us, but graduates, you have an advantage. The wide-eyed, ambitious nature of your newly energized mind is our future’s hope. You have a prospective unlike the generations that have come before you. You know how to disrupt and innovate, because your generation maintains a curiosity that has yet to find its match. You ask both “why” and “why not” and that’s exactly what we need. We need you to keep doing just that. Challenge everything. Your opinion is all you have. “Be brave… when you have to be.”
It means no worries. In everything you do, don’t over-complicate. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t take things personally because “there’s more to see than can ever be seen and more to do than can ever done.” If anyone can do it, it’s you.
By Shara Senderoff