When Life Gets You Down, Just Keep Swimming

4 min read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I know this is a little cheesy, but we can find the greatest lessons from the simplest things.

Remember the movie “Finding Nemo?”

Finding Nemo is one of the all-time great Disney/Pixar movies.

Not only is it a truly heartwarming story about the bond between father and son, in addition,  it’s also quite entertaining, funny, and rather emotional. And the best part is that how smartly it also touches upon some more mature themes.

Here are some of the hidden lessons that you might’ve not noticed otherwise while watching the movie.

  1. Bad Things Happen


The beginning of Finding Nemo was like a test of courage, the early death of his mom? It was living through the pain of Nemo.

But as they say “everything in life, happens for a reason” and that we find those reasons out later.

Yet, right now there was a moral to this, bad things happen. You cannot control what happens to you in life. You can only choose how you respond to it.

  1. Think before you speak.


More than often, we end up saying things we don’t mean. After Nemo tells his dad he hates him, divers take Nemo away from his father, and he ends up thinking he’ll probably never get to see his father again. Again, I think this happened for a reason, had it not happened maybe Nemo would have never realized his love for his family.

We’ve all been through that moment when a series of words slithers from our mouth and end up realizing if we could just think before we speak!

Once said, you cannot take your words back. Be sure of your words before you spit them out.

  1. Focus on the ABILITY Not the Disability


Dory may not be able to retain much due to her short term memory problem, but there are so many other things that she can do – she can read!  Nemo may have a gimpy fin, but he can still swim. (He may need some encouragement from Gil to believe that he can do more than he thinks he can, but that’s ok – we all need some cheering on from time to time.)  

All too often, it’s easier to focus on what people can’t do rather than what they can do.

“Where focus goes, energy flows.”- Tony Robbins

Looking at the bright side of things always might get difficult, but it’s the best you can do when things get hard.

  1. Life Happens Beyond Our Comfort Zone


In the movie, Marlin is a scared, overprotective fish.  He’s scared, overly cautious, and is living a safe life that is, let’s admit it, boring!

We don’t always like to try new things because we are afraid of leaving our comfort zones, we fear failing. But the reality is: failure isn’t the end of the road, it’s the beginning. Either you succeed and you grow or you fail and you grow, but trying something is always better than doing nothing.

  1. Just Keep Swimming


Ultimately the film’s greatest lesson is one of perseverance. Dory’s simple three-word mantra reminds us to hang in there, to keep pushing, to keep trying, to not give up, to fight.  

Perseverance is very important in all aspects of life – be it with work, school, relationships, or personal quests.

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Finding Nemo lays emphasis on the fact that you probably already know.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” – Rocky Balboa


Dory once said, “Well then, how are we gonna do that unless we give it a shot and hope for the best?”

That’s why you need to TAKE ACTION! You never know until you try! After all, your own life story is in your own hand? Maybe a bigger production than Nemo? 😉

If you really want to reach somewhere, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. GIVE IT A SHOT.

Want to develop your personal & professional skills in a hands-on experience through AIESEC's international exchange programs? Learn more