Finding Your Purpose & Passion: Advice from the Movie Soul (Spoiler Alert)

©Disney-Pixar

If you’re on this never-ending search for your life purpose and some passion that will rock your world, I’m here to tell you the answer you’re looking for might be hidden in plain sight.

I believe it’s just so fundamental, so seemingly ordinary, that we look right past it.

This weekend nestled inside due to snow I was able to watch Disney and Pixar’s movie Soul. I discovered it was packed with deep insights and great life lessons. Here’s the lessons I could find + my thoughts. See if you can find the purpose and passion I’m talking about as well as pick up a few tidbits of wisdom.

Purpose & Passion

  • You can find happiness after curveballs, dreams change. “I wanted to be a veterinarian… Then my daughter got sick, (CHUCKLES) and barber school is a lot cheaper than veterinarian school. [22:] Well, that’s too bad. You’re stuck as a barber and now you’re unhappy… [Barber:] I’m happy as a clam, my man.”
  • You occupation doesn’t indicate your impact. You never know the impact you have even as a teacher or a barber instead of a veterinarian. “I may not have invented blood transfusions, but I am most definitely savin’ lives.”- Barber.
  • You won’t be happy when ____ happens. For Joe Gardner it was a stage, for most people it’s getting or accomplishing ___. Getting into a relationships, getting all A’s, getting that internship/job, getting that freedom, anything. Don’t think one thing will fix all your troubles or dramatically change your happiness into a lasting and deep happiness. What you need is joy.
  • Your passion isn’t your purpose. “Your spark isn’t your purpose.” Spark is something found that just hits different. It brings people into the zone. It’s a passion. But your passion isn’t your purpose, it’s your tool for a purpose. May you use your passions to glorify God, serve others, and find joy.
  • Predictable doesn’t equal good. Yes your current life or situation might be safely comfortable, but don’t sit on your feet much longer if something worth it is calling. “[Joe: ] Are you just going to stay with what’s ok and predictable and not find your spark?”

Dreams

  • Own your dreams, even when others discourage you. “[22: ] Oof. Can I run away now, like you usually do? [Joe: ] No. Not this time.” If Joe hadn’t decided to own his dreams this time and talk to his mother, he would never have gotten her support and understanding. He might have felt pressured enough to even give up his dreams.
  • Be motivated by death. Ok that sounded really weird, but there’s wisdom in Joe’s following statement when he defends his dreams of pursuing music: “I’m just afraid that if I died today, that my life would’ve amounted to nothing.” .

Lost Souls

  • Anxieties and obsessions disconnect you from life. “Some people just can’t let go of their own anxieties and obsessions, leaving them lost and disconnected from life.”
  • Don’t let your joys become obsessions. “You know, lost souls are not that different from those in the zone… The zone is enjoyable, but when that joy becomes an obsession, one becomes disconnected from life.” 
  • When you don’t feel like enough, connect with your purpose and passion. “Truth is, I’ve always worried that maybe there’s something wrong with me. You know? Maybe I’m not good enough for living. But then you showed me about purpose and passion…”
  • What you tell people can become internal monsters. Not only does what we tell ourselves plague our thoughts, so does what others tell us. And importantly, what we tell others.
  • Words can heal lost souls. Joe brought back 22 with his words, and by reminding her of her true identity. He reminded her that she’s great at “jazzing” (their word for living meaningfully).

Live in the Moment

  • Being alive is beautiful. “Just look at what I found. Your mom sewed your suit from this cute spool. When I was nervous, Dez gave me this. A guy on the subway yelled at me. It was scary. But I kind of liked that, too.”. As humans we feel nervous, we feel loved, we feel scared, and that’s all a beautiful privilege.
  • It’s the little things that make up life. Let’s get back into the mindset of exploring what it means to live. Imagine re-eating pizza for the first time! What can you do to explore more again?
  • Regular old living is a purpose. As 22 (one of the main characters) explores life on Earth, she discovers how amazing just living is. For Christians, rediscovering the beauty of the ordinary is absolutely essential. Glorifying God, loving others, and finding joy all happen in the ordinary.
  • Don’t miss the moment out of fear. “[Joe: ] Hey! Take a look!” On her way down to Earth, 22 is scared and closing her eyes, but Joe asks her to open them and she does. She lives out this once in a lifetime moment.

Life with Others

  • Be there for others. “[Joe: ] I’ll go with you. [22: ] You know you can’t do that. [Joe: ] I know. But I’ll go as far as I can.”
  • Ask about people’s lives. If you stick to safe and routine topics, you’ll get safe and routine answers. Who knows what you could be missing? “[22: ] How come we, um, never talked about your life before? [Barber: ] You never asked. But I’m glad you did this time.”
  • Sometimes their actions/words are more about them than you. “He’s just criticizing me to cover up the pain of his own failed dreams.”
  • Like what you like unashamedly. Assuming what you like isn’t destructive or harmful, be unashamed about it! In the barber scene 22 likes these lollipops meant for kids. 22 even shares these lollipops with others as a peace offering. 🙂 I love that.
  • Sometimes it’s best to just be yourself. “[Joe: ] How did you know how to deal with Paul [the Barber]? [22: ] I didn’t. I just let out the me.”

And that’s a wrap, did you catch your purpose? It wasn’t in the movie Soul.

In the ordinary grind of life, glorify God, love others, and find joy. That type of life sure is an extraordinary one.

And if you disagree, let me know 🙂

So,

“You get another chance. So what are you going to do, how do you think you’ll spend your life?” – Soul

– Cynthia

Sources: https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2020/12/25/soul-2020-movie-transcript/

4 Comments

  1. I love your thoughts on the movie, Cynthia!! Pixar does a great job hitting deeper themes, and even though it’s a secular movie, there’s so much truth in it! It made me tear up too. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! For sureee. I really like watching secular movies with my Christian worldview, it helps me apply my beliefs 🙂
      Do you watch much secular movies? And how do you choose which ones if you do?

      Like

      1. Definitely! Yeah, I watch a lot more secular movies than Christian movies. XD Pixar movies are my favorite! My family uses Common Sense Media to check movies before we ever watch them. Plugged In is also good for reading reviews from Christian perspectives, though we don’t always check it. How about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sameee, it’s honestly hard to find non-staged Christian movies.
        And I’ll try to keep those two in mind, I’ve never heard of either! As for me I’m usually in the dark when it comes to whether movies will turn out good so thank you 😄

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s