Have you ever thought to yourself, perhaps right before you have to run the the mile in P.E. or after you’ve eaten too much ice cream and given yourself a stomach ache, man, I wish I were a Disney character? Yeah, us too. Well, while we might not have the technology to transport people into Disney movies yet (though we hope someone’s working it, or at least has some magic sidewalk chalk they can lend us a la Bert in Mary Poppins) we can follow the lead of our favorite princesses, heroes, anthropomorphic animals, and beyond. How? Like this:
1. Do things that scare you.
Our bodies give off signals when they sense danger and while it’s important to listen to those cues, it’s also important to challenge ourselves; doing things that scare you (whether that’s ziplining, trying sushi, or going to a party solo) are always worth it, just for the growth they provide. And hey, if it turns out ziplining isn’t your thing, you never have to do it again, but you will have tried it, and that’s what counts.
2. Go outside.
Seriously. Leave your laptop, phone, tablet, (all the devices) inside, stop what you’re doing, and go outside. Get some fresh air, take a good look at the sky, and the leaves, and the people. Earth is a pretty awesome place and you are part of it!
3. Do something kind for someone else.
Charity works two fold. It’s a kindness for those in need, and it’s good for your heart. So volunteer at an animal shelter, or hang with cool seniors at an assisted living facility, or bake cookies to raise money for a cause you care about. If more of us helped each other, we’d all be better for it.
4. Challenge expectations.
Your life is up to you, and you get to decide which path you should walk. Don’t let others tell you what’s best or what you need to do; trust yourself and surprise impress with the awesome things you can do. If everyone thinks you’ve left the Pride Lands for good, come back and take your rightful place as king (hypothetically).
5. Give people a second chance.
It’s very easy to judge others in the age of the internet, and it’s important that we trust our instincts. However it’s equally important to put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand where they’re coming from. Once you do that, we bet you’ll see them in a whole new light.
6. There’s no such thing as too many friends.
Some of us prefer to have a small group of close friends that we can confide in, and we are all for that (and all other friendship type variations, yay friends!). What we mean here is that it doesn’t cost us anything to be nice, smile, hold the door open for the person leaving the market behind us, etc. Maybe because of that kind deed, the next person will pay it forward.
7. Stay young at heart.
Unfortunately, we do not have directions to Never Land, and must grow up. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop imagining, dreaming, and wishing. We should absolutely continue to do all of those things, and, what’s more, we should do whatever it takes to make those dreams happen.
8. Talk less.
Talking? That’s so 2015. Let’s make 2016 the year that we all listen more. (We’re not saying you should literally not talk anymore, please keep talking. But we are saying that it’s just as important to lend an ear when a friend needs to vent, or when your dad is telling you about his high school band, or when you’re in math class.)
9. Believe in yourself.
Your confidence and self-worth has to come from inside yourself. Don’t let anyone else change the way you feel about yourself because you are a wonderful person, and there’s only one of you. We need you out in the world doing the great things you’re going to do, and the first step to that happening is trusting that you can do anything you set your mind to.