Today, you’re going to learn valuable life lessons from Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, Pixar’s Brave, and Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.
Who you were doesn’t need to be who you are.
These three characters spent most of their lives living life in a certain way:
Life gets interesting when this guy, gal, and ape decide that they’re tired of how things are going and want to make changes. Not surprisingly, they all hit a number of snags along the way attempting to change their fate – however they each found solace in taking greater control of their own destinies.
I want you to do the same.
For thirty years, Wreck-It Ralph was the bad guy.
Day after day, he would do his darndest to rip countless buildings apart, Rampage-style. And he was really good at it!
Ralph was a nice enough fellow and just wanted to hang out the good guys after work ended. Unfortunately, because he was only ever known for being a bad guy, Ralph faced a tremendous amount of resistance and ridicule when he tried to change the status quo. He was good at being a bad guy, and thus struggled to shed his image of the “bad guy that’s also a BAD guy.”
After thirty years, Ralph finally decided that enough is enough. Throwing caution into the wind, Ralph sets out on a journey of self-discovery, attempting to remake his image from who he was into who wants to be, and earn the respect of his friends and co-workers.
Up until yesterday, you were somebody too.
Every decision you made up until that point made you who you were:
What you ate
If you exercised
What made you happy
Where you worked
Who you hung out with
Like Ralph, you were somebody yesterday. You’re known to your friends, family, and coworkers as that person.
Like, Ralph, you can decide to be somebody else today, even if it means getting funny looks or “that doesn’t sound like you” and “why bother changing” comments from people who don’t believe that you can change. Prove them wrong!
For more than a decade, Donkey Kong was just a bad guy too.
It was his job to kidnap the princess, climb atop a platform, and sit there like a chump to wait until Mario climbed up and kicked his ass! Like Wreck-It Ralph, Donkey Kong did his job to the best of his ability, because he didn’t know any better. He was great at being a bad guy!
Then one day, he decided he was tired of waiting around for his ass to get kicked.
So he expanded his horizons, went on his own adventures, and learned new skills. Donkey Kong pushed through the adversity and went on to have a wildly successful career, from adventuring and go-kart racing, to golfing and tennis…heck, he even went on to become a popular bongo player. Sure, he had more success in some areas than others, but he continually reinvented himself despite his troubled past.
Who you were yesterday doesn’t control who you want to be today. Like we’ve learned from the Rules of the Rebellion, “We don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going.”
Starting RIGHT NOW, you get to decide what you want to be when you grow up. I don’t care if you’re 65 years old and 400 pounds, you can decide you want to be whatever the heck you want, right now.
In Pixar’s Brave, Merida is absolutely terrified at the thought of going through an arranged marriage and becoming a boring queen stuck in a chair all day making decisions.
She would much rather saddle up her beloved horse, grab her trusty bow and arrow, and go on awesome adventures around the picturesque Scottish countryside. In order to “change her fate” (must be read in a Scottish accent), Merida sets out to change her mother’s mind.
Merida realizes that the way it’s always been done simply isn’t right for her. Merida didn’t know it, but she was simply following rule nine of the Rebellion, question everything.
Conventional wisdom be damned, Merida knew that society’s notions of who she should be just wasn’t right for her.
Just because you’re predispositioned or “destined” to head down a certain path does NOT mean you have to. Sure, it’s going to be challenging as hell to change your routine and WHO you are, especially when you go against the grain, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
As I learned from Brave: “There are those who say fate is something beyond our command, that our destiny, but I know better. Our fate lives within us.”
Change your fate, friend!
If you don’t like your situation, shut up and change it!
Yep, it might require you hitting the reset button and starting all over. It might require you to find a few new friends who aren’t only interested in hanging out with you when you eat too much and don’t exercise. You have only one quarter, one play-through of life (sorry, no Konami code) - it’s up to you to play it to the best of your ability.
So, I don’t want to know who you were.
I want to know who you are and what you want to be.
I’m Steve, and I want to put a dent in the universe by helping Nerd Fitness become the go-to name in helping people get healthy worldwide.
PS – Thanks to all that participated in the November Morning Mile Challenge! We’re gonna keep the good times going in a new tab in the same document. Simply click on the December tab at the bottom, add your name, and commit to walking a mile each morning!