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Motivation Monday: From the Wizard of Oz

My all time favorite movie is “The Wizard of Oz.” I could watch it over and over again (and have). I seem to find great meaning in this film which of course, relate to careers, job search and life.

The Wizard of Oz Lahr Garland Bolger Haley 1939 It is Judy Garland’s voice, the transition from black and white to color, the storyline, and the quotable quotes that keep “The Wizard of Oz” on the top of my list of memorable and inspiring movies. And I guess you can imagine I am excited to see the remake, though I fear it may disappoint or worse, take away from the historical magic of the original version.

Lesson 1: It isn’t about you

The Wizard says to the Tin Man:

“And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”

Being successful isn’t about pushing your agenda or having a slick pitch; it is about how you make people feel when they are around you. At the end of the day, I will contend that it is the deep emotional connections you have made with people that make you a richer and more successful life.  Think of the people you know who lead a self-centered life, focusing only on our own needs, wants and desires. Who comes up empty handed in the grand scheme of things?

Lesson 2: Wanting It Badly Doesn’t Make It So

As Dorothy says to Glinda the Good Witch of the North,

“Well, I think that it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em…”

It isn’t enough just to want something (a job or a promotion). You have to take action and learn lessons from the journey.There is a value to struggling to accomplish something, it often makes you appreciate the outcome.

And as Dorothy found out, maybe you had it in you all along. The events of your journey (rejection, confusion, frustration, difficult conversations) have led you to discover your true strengths and value. How else could you have uncovered this? Being tested seems like an unfair way to reach the outcome, but in the end, it is usually worth it.

Lesson 3: Stop Yearning and Start Living

Akin to the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side…” the next quote reminds me that yearning for or envying someone else’s life or something better, isn’t always as it seems.

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Maybe losing a job or not getting that promotion wasn’t a bad thing. Maybe this incident will lead us where we were supposed to be all along. My take-away from this is that we shouldn’t try and live the life others want us to live or, desire to live a life we think others want for us. You and I have the power or authority to impact our life and career. We shouldn’t leave it to our managers or  others to direct it for us. Move beyond the disappointment and do what is right for you and live the unique life you were meant to live. When you are fulfilled, content, and/or happy, those around you will be too.

Lesson 4: Surprise and Innovation

Perhaps one of the most amazing things about this 1939 movie was it’s use of color. It is considered by many to be one of the first major motion films to use Technicolor. Imagine you were in the audience and experienced the transition to color as Dorothy opened the door in the Land of Oz. Awe! Surprise! Every day we have an opportunity to surprise and delight. While it is wonderful to be on the receiving end of a gift, it is equally as wonderful to see and hear the response of those who have been surprised and delighted.

And finally, what innovation will you test? Could it be new technology? Or could it be a new method of communication style for you? What will you do to re-invent yourself? What can you do to keep on the cutting edge? What new things will you teach yourself or learn about?

Lesson 5: What About Those Monkeys?

I couldn’t write about “The Wizard of Oz” without referencing the winged monkeys. These creepy creatures have frightened children since the movie first came out. I have no deep thoughts to share at this point, but I know there are some! Why do they freak us out?

What is your favorite movie quote?

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  • careersherpa February 18, 2013, 11:51 am

    @erin_e_palmer Thank you Erin!

  • Michele Kaasen Rubatino February 18, 2013, 3:43 pm

    My guess is because Darwin teaches we come from apes! Perhaps we feel a kinship of some kind, and the fact they are not nice causes us to self reflect that which we do not like in ourself! Scary stuff, not to forget . . Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My! But the good news, in the end, they all Hail Dorothy! Hooray we can make our enemy our friend!