Kids young and old flocked to movie theaters over the past week for a hilarious, sweet and insightful reunion with Mike Wazowski and Sully of Monsters, Inc. fame.
As with almost all of Pixar’s films, Monsters U hits it out of the park in terms of wonderful characters and a touching story. But this movie also teaches a very valuable lesson in what it means to chase your professional goals and dreams – and how to respond to change when everything doesn’t go as planned.
There are a few SPOILERS below, so if you want to keep everything about the movie top secret, you may want to skip to the last sentence!
This installment of the Monsters universe starts with our one-eyed friend, Mike Wazowski, on his childhood visit to Monsters, Inc. In that instant, Mike realizes what he wants to focus his life toward – being a SCARER. But as anyone who’s seen Monsters, Inc. knows, Mike doesn’t become a SCARER – he becomes the “guy behind the guy.”
Monsters U follows Mike’s journey to self realization. Through the whole movie, he is so headstrong about being a SCARER that when he ultimately realizes that he’s just not that good at it – and therefore won’t be able to get a job as a SCARER – he must come to terms with the fact that his dream won’t come true as he thought it would.
But here’s why I love the movie so much. Mike, with the help of his pal Sully, realizes that he has amazing abilities that others don’t possesses that he can still put to use in the industry he loves. In the same way that a college athlete may never be good enough to go pro but is perfectly equipped to make an impact as a coach, Mike realizes his journey is leading him to a new destination – but one that is still close to the original destination he hoped to reach!
Facing disappointment happens in everyone’s career at some point. It’s how you deal with this change in expectations that defines what success truly is.