We all want to live life like it’s a Disney movie. Years of watching the animated classics have taught us how Disney heroes and heroines act, but how do we follow their examples in our own lives, when we’re stuck with reality and all of its bummers?
We wanted to know the answer, so we compiled the lessons we’ve learned from Disney folk, and then translated those lessons into practical advice for our own lives. Follow these examples, and with any luck, your day-to-day life will grow to become as happy and exciting as a Disney movie.
Beauty and the Beast
Disney lesson: Belle always had a book in her hands. Even though she was stuck in her provincial town at the beginning of her story, she managed to bring excitement and adventure to her life through the books she read.
Real life application: Read! Read as much as you possibly can. It will stretch your imagination, fuel your desire for adventure, and give you new ideas about what you can achieve. If you’re stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, let reading be your escape until you can get out and explore like the Disney greats before you.
Disney lesson: Pinocchio had Jiminy Cricket to guide him, but he still ignored Jiminy’s advice and did things he knew were wrong from time to time. His decisions led him down a scary path that nearly ended in disaster.
Real life application: Let your conscience be your guide. Just like Pinocchio, you have your own Jiminy Cricket. You know the right thing to do. Listen to that voice and make decisions you can always be proud of.
Disney lesson: Rapunzel wanted more for her life than to stay cooped up in her tower. She knew that going to see the lanterns involved taking chances and venturing into the unknown, but she decided her dream was worth those risks.
Real life application: Leave your tower! You can’t go on a Disney hero’s journey without leaving home. It’s easy to stay where you’re comfortable, but if you want more than what you have, comfort is your enemy. Be brave and take risks. Nothing will ever change if you never change your circumstances.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Disney lesson: Snow White grew up lonely, with only the Evil Queen as company. With time and patience, she found her home in the least likely of places, and went from having no friends to seven incredible ones.
Real life application: Find (and keep) some wonderful friends. When you’re going through a period of loneliness, remember that it won’t last forever. Do your best to tune out the negative influences around you, and instead surround yourself with good people who support you and care about you. What would Disney characters do without their sidekicks?
The Lion King
Disney lesson: When Timon and Pumbaa rescue Simba, they introduce him to the art of eating bugs. Simba is (understandably) hesitant, but he gives it a try anyway. The results? “Slimy, yet satisfying!”
Real life application: Try new things! Even if you think you won’t like something, remember that you’re changing all the time. Channel Simba and don’t be afraid to experience new things. If you are, you might miss out on something wonderful.
Disney lesson: Cinderella had every reason in the world to be bitter… but she wasn’t. In spite of the cruelty of her home life and her seemingly hopeless future, she never stopped wishing and believing in her dreams.
Real life application: Persevere. If you’re stuck in a negative atmosphere, don’t let it stop you from being the kindest person you can be. The best way to beat the naysayers is not letting them stop you from being cheerful and positive.
The Princess and the Frog
Disney lesson: Tiana wanted to open her own restaurant, and there was no easy path to making that happen… so she took the hard path. She worked. She put everything she had into making her dream a reality.
Real life application: Whatever you dream of doing, work hard at it. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, and only you can make your dreams come true. Remember to never lose sight of what’s most important, either.
Disney lesson: Mulan wasn’t looking for adventure, but it found her anyway. When it did, she bravely stepped up without a moment’s hesitation. She didn’t stop to worry about her inexperience or question her abilities.
Real life application: Be brave. If you look for excuses why you can’t do something, you will find plenty. If you ignore those reasons and do what must be done, you will find that you are far more capable than you realized, just like Mulan.
Disney lesson: Aladdin thought he had to be a sultan to impress Jasmine, but trying to become someone he wasn’t actually jeopardized his chances with her. He learned in the end that she liked him best when he was being himself.
Real life application: Be proud of who you are. Don’t let yourself be defined by your background, and never try to change who you are for someone else.
Disney lesson: In his quest to become a hero, Hercules let fame and glory distract him from his true goal. By giving up his chance to live on Mount Olympus so that he could be with Meg, Hercules demonstrated that the most important things in life are often those we take for granted, and that no amount of wealth, status, or power is as important as love.
Real life application: Stay humble. The true measure of a Disney hero isn’t any superficial quality. It’s the way you treat other people, the thoughts you think, the words you say—all the small, everyday things that add up to who you are.
Disney lesson: Wendy’s father wanted her to be more practical, so he decided she was too old to stay in the nursery any longer. When he finds her sleeping by the window and hears her stories of Never Land, he remembers the magic of his own childhood and changes his mind.
Real life application: Never grow up. Things will get hard sometimes, and you’ll need your sense of wonder and imagination to get you through. If you stay young at heart, you’ll be that much closer to living a Disney movie life and bringing joy everywhere you go.
You may not be able to animate yourself and the people around you, but there’s no reason you can’t live life like a Disney movie anyway. If you remember the lessons your favorite characters have taught you, then you really can’t go wrong.
Do you have a tip for turning your life into a Disney movie? Tell us in the comments!