5 Powerful Take-Aways From Disney’s Moana

If you are a parent of a child 8 years or younger, the songs of Moana are probably circling your dreams and haunting your waking hours right about now.

Since I jumped on the Moana train a bit late, it is still fresh enough of a story to be quite moving! Inspiration can come from unlikely sources. 🙂

Here are 5 Life Lessons I Gleaned from Moana:

1. In order to evaluate our true potential, we must first reexamine our assumptions.

“We Were Voyagers!” Moana yells, as she discovers the ships of her people that were hidden away for many generations. For a girl who has never left her island, this idea is revolutionary!

Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in our own assumptions and traditions, we forget to dream and think of what could be. What assumptions are you making right now about your potential?

2. In moments of doubt and adversity, we must rely on our loved ones to help us remember who we are.

Moana faces unbearable obstacles along her journey: a threat to the livelihood of her people, a shipwreck, a lack of knowledge of the sea and a battle to engage an unwilling demi-god to help in her cause to save her people. When she’s tempted to give up, her grandmother comes to encourage her and remind her who she truly is.

Her grandmother sings:

I know a girl from an island
She stands apart from the crowd
She loves the sea and her people
She makes her whole family proud 

Sometimes the world seems against you
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just
Where you are

The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on Earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you

3. In times of difficulty, we must remember how far we’ve come.

When Moana starts to doubt her calling, she strengthens her own soul by recalling how far she’s come on her journey.

She sings:

I’ve delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still [the ocean] calls me
And the call isn’t out there at all
It’s inside me

Don’t forget how much you’ve learned from Day 1 of your child’s life until now. You are doing important work. Keep going, moms! 

4.We must not lose sight of our calling in life.

Moana’s calling was inside of her, but so often others around her challenged her intuition– especially because of her age. Whenever she felt this way, she didn’t give in; she remembered her calling and her people.

Our culture tends to downplay the role of being a mother, but don’t forget– your motherhood is a calling of the highest order. 

5. We must always remember who came before us.

Though stubborn and naive, Moana never gives in to the idea that she’s accomplished (or can accomplish) anything on her own; she remembers the people who came before her– her family, the elders and her ancestors and how they have brought her to where she is– for such a time as this– to save her people.

You did not get where you are on your own. We are all part of a larger family, culture and community. We are all in this life together and the only hope we have of getting through life is to band together and each play our unique role in the journey. 

**BTW, if you have been living in a cave and haven’t seen Moana, you should; it’s on Netflix now! 🙂