Author G.K. Chesterton once wrote about how knowledgeable children’s stories are. He pointed out how nursery rhymes and fairy tales take complex issues and put them into the simplest of terms.
We have an endless amount of self-help books to choose from on Amazon; books that are written by people who have supposedly become successful and now want to help you become successful, too.
But, what if Chesterton had it right; what if A. A. Milne was a better success coach than Tony Robbins?
Chesterton might argue that, if a person is looking for motivation in his/her career, attending a new seminar or buying the latest 3 self-help books might not be the best idea. No; Chesterton might instead say to go see Frozen 2.
Opening weekend of the movie, I did just that. I took my girlfriend to see Frozen 2, something we have both been looking forward to since the first one came out. I loved the original because it captured the classic Walt Disney feeling that so many of the studio’s current remakes seems to be lacking. Frozen 2 kept that child-like wonder.
The movie was stunning. The animation was beautiful, the story was different and captivating, and the songs were classic Disney-quality. But what really stayed with me was a scene near the end of the movie, where Anna is in despair.
At this point, she believes that Elsa and Olaf have died, and Kristoff has abandoned her. She is lost, without knowing what to do or where to go. And she’s all alone.
So she starts to sing. And it is this song, titled, “Do the Next Right Thing,” that was my big takeaway from the movie.
In her darkest moment, Anna resolves to “do the next right thing.” Does she know what this is? Not at first. But after opening her mind up to this the “next right thing” begins to present itself to her.
This is exactly what motivational speakers and authors like Tony Robbins and Bob Doyle talk about. By opening our minds up to what the next right thing to do is, the path that shows itself is surprising clear. The only catch is that the path presents itself to us on its own time, not ours.
Resolving to do the next right thing, Anna sees what must be done to save the day. The decision she makes isn’t the obvious choice, and certainly not the easiest. But she is certain that it is the next right choice, and so she sets course towards it.
It is in this song — a sweet, princess song from a Disney movie — that perfectly sums up every self-help book on the bookshelf.
Think about that for a second, “Do the next right thing.” What’s the next right thing in your life now?
It could be calling up someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. Or sending out that email you’ve been putting off. Or going for a run.
Once we open our minds to the next right thing, it will inevitably present itself. All we have to do is listen.
And this is advice that came, not from a $10,000 Tony Robbins course, but from a Disney princess movie.
We all would do better to watch more fairy tales.