I was watching ‘The Incredibles’ with my wife the other night. It had been a while since I took it out of its box. I was happy to find that the movie was just and enjoyable after these many years! jokes you missed the times before made the movie as fun as the first time I saw it. But one thing continued to nag at me as I watched the movie: How important it is to be true to yourself.
What happens when you’re not true to yourself
It was an underlying message I never realized before. It is obvious that the moral of the story is to be “true to yourself,” but what caught my eye was how Pixar showed what happens when you’re not true to yourself. More specifically, what can happen to your sense of fulfillment and happiness if you are living out your purpose, but then that life is stolen away from you.
If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a quick synopsis.
A Quick Rundown
The world is full of superheroes. They fight crime and spread life lessons to the children. But after some time, lawsuits hit the superheroes for saving people who didn’t want to be saved. The lawsuits become a tidal wave of anti-superhero sentiment, forcing them to go into hiding. Mr. Incredible (the main character), once saving lives daily, is found stuck behind a desk at a toxic insurance job.
Mr. Incredible shows all the signs of living a life without purpose. He is apathetic, discouraged, exhausted, has gained weight, and is suffering from a short temper. He focuses on “the good old days,” keeping him from focusing on the present. Like a person in the desert, searching for water, Mr. Incredible grasps and any opportunity to help the clients of the insurance company. When a client brings him an issue, he goes against his supervisor’s wishes by teaching the client various loopholes in the insurance company’s system.
Like a person in the desert searching for water, Mr. Incredible grasps and any opportunity to help the clients of the insurance company. When a client brings him an issue, he goes against his supervisor’s wishes by teaching the client various loopholes in the insurance company’s system.
Once his supervisor finds out about this, and after Mr. Incredible “accidentally” throws the supervisor through the wall, he is quickly let go.
After the loss of his job, Mr. Incredible is given the opportunity to once again fight crime. With only one experience to remind him of his purpose, his mood changes drastically. Suddenly, he is exercising, enjoying his marriage, and giving his children the attention they desperately need. With only one experience doing what he was made to do, life comes back into his eyes.
Being separated from your purpose
What I realized while watching this portion of the movie was how relatable Mr. Incredible’s feelings about a dead career are to the rest of us. When we are working at a dead-end job with toxic supervisors looking only at the bottom line, it’s nearly impossible to stay positive. Especially when you know what you were meant for.
The Incredibles painted a very real picture of what can happen when we are living a life that is not true to who we are. While fighting crime like a superhero may not be possible, understanding our purpose can feel just as liberating.
If you are struggling at your job, knowing that you are meant for something else, don’t waste your days being drained mentally and physically. Search for your calling and be true to yourself. Does this mean going back to school? maybe. Some drastic shifts are necessary to have drastic results.
And when it comes to your fulfillment, making a big change is worth it. You will be more fulfilled in the work you do and more engaged at home. That’s right, not only will you enjoy your job, but your home life will benefit. There is no reason not to start down the path of being true to yourself.
What are your experiences on finding your purpose?
Leave your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comment section below!