How to Live a Life That Will Help You Go Beyond Survival

Three Simple Unexpected Lessons About Life from Pixar's Wall-E

My children, like most children, enjoy watching Pixar films. Recently, the two youngest children decided to watch Wall-E. I happened to be in the room during some of it and found inspiration in the scene below.

Just after the three minute mark, the captain says, “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.” His existence up to that point had been mundane repetition. The ship was drifting in outer space without purpose.  Its inhabitants lost in the screens before them. It seems that many people are experiencing a reality with similar characteristics today.

Like the captain my heart desires not to merely survive but to live. I noticed three takeaways from the movie that seem applicable.

  1. A decision must be made. As the captain gives the plant a drink of water, he recognizes that his ship needs to return to Earth. A moment of decision has arrived because the captain now sees the importance of a change to the ship’s plans. Similarly, when we discover that we want to move beyond surviving, we come to our moment of decision. Will we continue to live a less-than-full life, or will we determine to press on to something better and more fulfilling? Don’t settle! Choose the life where you can thrive and make a difference in other people’s lives.
  2. Action must be taken. Near the very end of the clip above, the captain decides on his course of action – he must lead the ship on its return to Earth. As soon as he takes action, the resistance to his choice emerges. The auto-pilot is determined to keep the ship under its own control. When we begin to act on our decision, the naysayers and skeptics show up. Persevere! Action precipitates movement. Movement shakes things up and disturbs the environment around us.
  3. A fight will occur. The status quo will always fight to keep everything as it is. In this scene from later in the movie, we see that the captain has to fight to overcome the robot that wants to stay on the same course. The same is true for us. If we want to change the course of our lives, a battle will ensue. Be ready! Change is never easy.  However, if we want different results, we have to make different decisions.

The choice to live beyond surviving is a choice we all get to make. Living only to survive can lead to a commonplace existence. Like the captain and his ship in Wall-E, choosing to live may take you to worlds never before explored.

Question: Are you surviving or living? What decisions do you need to make? Do you need to act on a decision you have made? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Jim Moore

    Love this – we all have to be reminded to rise above the robotic day-to-day routine and live the life given us to the fullest!

    • Mark Maenche

      So right Jim! Thanks for leaving a comment – I appreciate it.