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Life Lessons From the Movie Inside Out

by Eric Kraus

Having young kids is incredibly rewarding. Not only do you get to watch little replicas of you grow up, you get to learn a lot about yourself along the way. There’s no better way to learn a good life lesson than to watch a Disney movie with your kids. These movies are entertaining for little ones, but are packed full of life lessons for the big kids too.

One of new my favorites is Disney/Pixar’s – Inside Out

Don’t worry, this isn’t a movie review. If you have not seen the movie, no spoiler alerts here. Although, if you haven’t, you should definitely give it a go. It’s the story of a middle-school-aged girl, Riley, that is struggling with her recent move to a new city. All of her fun memories are from her previous home and with all of the change, she is struggling to make any new ones.

Life Lessons

The following are a few life lessons that have come up in conversation with our family after seeing the movie. I imagine there are many more, so I would encourage you to share any fun conversations you’ve had with your family/friends, at the end of this post.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Change is inevitable’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Change is inevitable[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons ChangePeople, places and things. They all come and go. Even those things that do “stay” in our lives change as well. The most important part of all of this change is not to prevent it or encourage it. It is important to learn how to handle it appropriately.

Change means growth and it’s important to remember that when we encounter undesired changes in our lives. We can alway look back at the past and remember “better” times, but the future is where all of the new opportunities will be.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Don’t avoid anger just control him’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Don’t avoid anger, just control him[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Anger

We all have it. That nasty little voice in our head that takes over in heated situations. Anger can often get us into trouble, but it can also play a positive role in our lives as well.

Think of anger like energy. Too often, anger is released in the form of negative out-bursts of physical or verbal actions, often hurting the feelings of others. However, if it can be controlled and “leveraged”, it can be used for personal gains too, like working out, cleaning the house, etc. Our family get some of its best cleaning done when we’re angry.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Know the risks with shortcuts’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Know the risks with taking a shortcut[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Shortcuts

Shortcuts are great things. They are created when people understand a complete process and then create or discover alternative methods to reach the same/similar outcome. The rationalization behind using a shortcut is what makes human minds more superior than any other being.

However, there is always risks associated with shortcuts. Those risks are around understanding the potential known or unknown consequences. This requires analysis of EACH given situation, the context, etc. A shortcut that works one time, might not be the right decision a second time.

Being sure to think and talk through the unique situation with your family or team will help you avoid consequences that could set you back from achieving your goals.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Sadness can be an acceleration to happiness’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Sadness can often be acceleration to happiness[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Sadness

Grieving is an important part of life. Trying to be “tough” or avoiding these types of feelings can have a significant negative reaction later in life. Often people who are sad are seen as week, but after seeing the movie, it’s clear that sadness could arguably be the hero.

Forcing ourselves to be happy all the time only delays us from addressing the root challenges we are facing. By addressing emotions when we are confronted as soon as possible, it can often lead to an acceleration of returning to happiness.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Great ideas come from unusual places’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Great ideas can come from unusual places[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Ideas

We all know someone that likes to share ideas with us and we, unfortunately, frequently brush those ideas off based on some other factors.

Many entrepreneurs will tell you that they carry a notebook with them and encourage ideas from EVERYONE. It’s not that those ideas are perfect at first blush, but they are real and authentic and for sure already align to someone else’s personal perspective.

Other people have this unique ability to offer a perspective that we (ourselves) can’t see. We are often too close to our own problems to solve them. In other words, we often are THE problem.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Running away just temporarily distances you’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Running away just temporarily distances you from your problems[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Running Away

Running from problems only temporarily distances you from them. Eventually the problems, and your emotions associated with them, will catch up with you. And likely, they will be much harder to address in the future too.

Acknowledging problems and confronting them head on can be a much quicker resolution. Tackling them head on can lead to a positive outcome, but it strengthens your ability to handle problems again in the future.


[tweet_box design=”default” url=”http://erickra.us/1TccUYR” float=”none” excerpt=”‘Communication is still key’ and other Life Lessons from Disney’s Inside Out @erickraus”]Communication is still the key to solving problems[/tweet_box]

Life Lessons Communication

Through all the changes going on in the main character’s life, she struggles to find someone, even her own parents, to communicate her feelings with. Having an outlet for your thoughts can be a very important part of dealing with life and changes in it.

There are several strategies that can help people with sharing there ideas. People can talk with family, friends or even engage with a professional therapist. There’s no shame in taking control of being successful in your life. Talking to a therapist doesn’t make you weak. Those who just let problems happen to them, and don’t take action, that’s a stronger sign of weakness.

Additionally, many people find value in activities like Journaling. It can be a great private outlet of your emotions and can also be therapeutic by allowing you to later reflect on your thoughts.


What about you?

Have you seen the movie? What other lessons have you taken away about life, success, etc?

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