3 Soft Skills Lessons from Watching “Trolls”

soft skills lessons from TrollsI didn’t think this movie, Trolls, was going to be any good.  Both of my kids love the music in it.   Finally, we watched it last weekend.  I was only half watching it for the first 20 minutes.  It seemed like just a silly, happy cartoon, with lots of bright colors and singing.   My kids were glued to the TV.

When I was done with work, I thought I just watch it with them to unwind. Within 10 minutes, I was glued too.  Here is why:

“You have eat a Troll to be happy” – What?  What a silly concept!  Why would the Bergens believe such a thing?  Then it dawned on me the metaphor and parallel to our lives.  We all grew up with a lot of concept about happiness, such as

  • We need to make a lot of money to be happy
  • We need to be married to be happy
  • We need to own a house to be happy
  • We need to be promoted to be happy

How is that different from the Bergens in Trolls?  We may think their belief – “need to eat a troll to be happy” – is so ridiculously silly.   How can the young Bergens king believe completely that he will never be happy, given the Trolls all escaped?   Well, maybe our beliefs about happiness are also silly and fabricated.  Do we really need any of those things (house, money, promotion, spouse) to be happy?    I have learned, happiness does not depend on any people, circumstance, achievement, or thing.  The Trolls movie is teaching us the same wisdom in a fun and easy way to understand.  It’s brilliant!

Soft Skill lesson 1:   Self awareness

  • Do you know what are your concepts of happiness at work and in life?
  • Jot down 1 or 2 and then ask yourself – what if they are not true? What if you can be happy right now?

” I don’t sing, and I don’t relax. This is the way I am, and I like it. I also like a little silence.”  This is a quote from Branch who was the Troll that lost all his bright colors and was always worried about the attacks from Bergens.   Do we know people like that in our lives?  Those who are set in their ways? Does any of the following sound familiar?  Are you like this?

  • I am already 30, I don’t want to try that. That’s for “young” people
  • You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks
  • I don’t do that. It’s too …. (fill in the blank – hard, silly, time consuming, …)  It’s just not my thing
  • I am too old to ….. (fill in the blank)

As we get older, many of us, have a deep rooted belief that we cannot change any more.  That is absolutely NOT true! The only reason we won’t learn anymore is if we mentally stop ourselves from doing so and believing in these types of “limiting concepts” like the above.

Soft Skill Lesson 2 – Growth Mindset.  We can learn anything and everything until the day we die.   It’s important to surround ourselves with friends and colleagues with grow mindsets.   We can inspire them to learn more and they can inspire us to do the same.   Branch only was set in his way because of a sad event in his childhood.  He needed Poppy to convince him it’s okay to be who he really is again.

King Gristle: Do you really think I can be happy?
Poppy: Of course! It’s inside you! It’s inside of all of us! And I don’t think it. I feel it!

We are all born with the right and the power to be happy.  What an empowering concept!  It was inspiring to see Poppy’s self confidence as she convinced the King that he can be happy too, without eating any Trolls.  Poppy saved her entire race from centuries of persecution, because she was convinced she can do it.  Has she done it before? no.  Did she know how she was going to do it?  no.  Yet, she just know it.

Soft Skills Lesson 3 – Self Confidence.   We often think confidence is something we have to earn, only after we achieved A, B, or C.  It’s the opposite.  Only when we choose to be confident, can we achieve the most amazing things that we would have never imagined.    So choose to be confident in yourself!  You have the power to do it.  When you do, not only can you contribute more to this world, but you can also inspire others to do the same.  This is what Poppy did for King Gristle. 🙂

So yes, I love the movie Trolls.  It was the most unexpected.  After watching it, we decided to do an hour of free dance in our living room to Trolls music.  We were simply happy! 🙂

For lessons I learned from other cartoons, go to Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 3.

Your Comments: Have you seen Trolls?  What do you think?  What is your concept of happiness? What are you focused on learning now?  I look forward to seeing your comments.

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I am always in your corner

Lei

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