Life’s not fair, is it, my little friend? While some are born to feast, others spend their life in the dark, begging for scraps.
– Uncle Scar
The Lion King released in 1994, is one of my favorite movies. I was naturally excited to take my 3 and 7 year olds to Disney’s 2019 photorealistic computer animated remake recently.
In-between impulsive kid cries of ‘That’s not fair!’ and ‘You can do it! Simba,’ the mind blowing journey of flawless visual characterization, high voltage energy and music you wanted to dance to, blew our breaths away. That evening, we took The Lion King home with us.
Every retort, mock play and even my little boy’s dream was around Scar, Mufasa, Simba and his friends. This started my family’s sharing and learning of Life’s lessons from The Lion King. While the story is intense and relevant to all our lives, with not less than 10 important insights into Life and Leadership, I have chosen to talk about Life’s 3 biggest lessons that stood out for me.
1. Hakuna matata – It means no worries and these two words will solve all your problems!
That’s what little Simba’s friends, the warthog Pumba and meerkat Timon tell him when he is discovered, exhausted and far from home, fearing social ostracism for apparently being the cause of his father’s untimely death.
To live the hakuna matata goal, do what makes you happy, be it singing and dancing, looking for grub or lying under the sky watching the stars. The self-accepting, no-anxiety DNA of this new friendship helps Simba deal with the loss of his beloved family and learn to enjoy a carefree, ‘living in the moment,’ no regrets existence.
– Friends are forever is another facet of hakuna matata – one thing less to worry about! A heart touching friendship that helps Simba not only when he is lost and forlorn, but later too when he decides to reclaim his legacy as King. Pumba and Timon follow Simba unreservedly into his homeland to fight the wicked Uncle Scar and his hyena allies with all the brute strength they can muster.
Wouldn’t you and I love to have the Hakuna Matata life? What stops us?
Pick up a pen and paper and list it all out – fears, anxieties, regrets, loans, disease, mindset, habits, upbringing and anything else? Here’s a little secret: When I do the Hakuna Matata exercise, I usually find that the biggest barrier to my worry-free life is ‘me’ and only I can change it and make it what I want it to be.
2. Running away does not solve your problems.
– Little Simba runs away from the pride in guilt, fearing rejection and shame. Scar takes over as undisputed King and the lion’s family now becomes second in power to his inner circle of the blood-thirsty hyenas.
– As they grow up, Simba’s childhood friend lioness Nala, unwilling to accept the fear and insult under Scar’s wicked reign, flees from the family not out of fear but courage to get support for the pride, so that they can fight Scar’s injustice and reclaim their lands again.
Life’s lesson here is while running away is not a permanent escape from a situation, realizing yourself and forgiving your mistakes is an important self-development key. As Pumba would say, “you gotta put your past in your behind.”
Running away can also help put things into perspective for some, and gain strength for others. Getting ‘me-time’ is not so bad after all and we all need it to rebuild our inner selves.
The successful outcome of running away is that Nala finds Simba and looks to him to return and take his rightful place as the King. With help from the mystic monkey Rafiki and Mufasa’s guiding spirit, Simba rediscovers his guilt-free true self and returns to meet his life’s goal and mission successfully.
3. The circle of life
Death, to most of us is a ‘being alone’ option. We fear it and never talk about death to our children or loved ones.
King Mufasa introduces the circle of life and death to his cub early on, and beautifully answers how carnivores eat the herbivores and when they die and merge with the earth and grass, the herbivores eat the grass, thus completing the circle of life.
Till we don’t understand Life’s undying truths such as:
We came alone and will go alone
Whatever is in-between characterizes our good and not-so-good facets and
Each of us have a role to play individually and as a part of a larger community circle,
the understanding of life and death is incomplete and will continue to cause fear and anxiety.
The protection by the spirit of the ancestors is also a spiritual practice shown in the movie, that brings reassurance, guidance and strength. In the circle of materialistic life, we need the insights from our inner guru, our ancient wisdom, external teachers, coaches, parents and friends to nudge us on to complete the circle of life.
If you have not yet been to The Lion King, I would urge you to book a seat today! If you have seen the movie, we would love to hear about your best takeaways and favourite characters.
Life & Money in collaboration with the Garrett Planning Network has launched Asia’s only Women Financial Advisers Network (WFAN) with a vision to empower Indians to lead a ‘Rich’ and ‘Balanced Life.’ We nurture and empower our member Advisers through professional guidance and coaching with their life and wellness goals. They, in turn enable and strengthen their clients with all round financial and life planning . To know more, please see the Introduction video and go through our Online learning courses.
WFAN is now also on SHEROES, a women’s social and economic empowerment community platform. If you have a question, you could contact us through our website or WFAN on SHEROES and we will be happy to provide the answers.
Simba with friends pic: https://www.pixelstalk.net/hd-simba-lion-king-wallpapers-free/
Cover Photo by Dorin Seremet on Unsplash
The Lion King official soundtrack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF-c1K3WWg4&list=PLGYGe2PKknX2kydiv28aq8dBXBWeJfxgg