Spoiler Alert- Parts of Finding Dory, the movie, will be revealed in this month’s blog. Although I don’t think Finding Dory is a “thriller” that can be spoiled (you all know there is a happy ending), you may not want to read this blog if you don’t want to know details from the movie.
For those of you not familiar with the story, Dory is a fish who has short-term memory loss. As a result of this condition, Dory loses her family. In Finding Dory, Nemo and Nemo’s father, Marlin, (from Finding Nemo) try to help Dory reconnect with her parents.

Four aspects of the movie made an impression on me. I believe we can all learn Persistence, Perseverance, the Power of Family and Friends, and Purpose from Dory.

Dory was persistent. She had a goal and was passionate about it. She was undeterred even when she faced many setbacks. What enabled her to persist is that she felt her goal was important; she was confident in her success; and she did not focus on the costs (how scary or overwhelming this journey would be). Her mindset allowed her to be persistent! In order to be persistent try thinking like Dory.

Not only did she persist, Dory was also resilient. She faced many obstacles; however, she did not let these challenges define her. If anything, she became stronger and more equipped because of the challenges she faced. When Nemo and his father were really in a jam, they asked themselves, what would Dory do? Looking to what Dory would do, helped them to persevere.

Throughout the movie, Dory became stronger, braver and more independent. Interestingly, it was at her lowest and darkest point that her greatest growth occurred. That feeling of being in a dip – being confused, lost, and overwhelmed — can make you feel bad. But if you can reach a place where those feelings inspire you, that’s where people (and fish) grow.

The Power of Family and Friends
It is important to note that Dory could not have accomplished her goal alone. She had Nemo and Marlin to inspire her initially, and then received support from Hank the Octopus. She also had the warm, loving memories of her parents that provided confidence and reassurance. It was by tapping into all this support that Dory could ultimately grow more independent and handle any obstacle she faced.

Dory had purpose. What do I mean by purpose? Her behavior was not just meaningful to herself (finding her parents), but to the world at large (strengthening others). By having purpose, she was able to both persist in her goal and be resilient in the face of setbacks.

At the end of the movie, you see Dory bravely sitting at the edge. What I found striking was that not only did Dory change and benefit from the support of others, but she also influenced others around her (e.g., Marlin, Hank) to be braver, more resilient, and to grow. When we reach out to others, not only do they benefit, but we benefit as well.

In the words of Dory: “just keep swimming” and remember it is always best to swim with purpose and not alone.

Wishing everyone a great summer – Caren

If you happen to be in Texas at the International Festival for Positive Education on July 18th at 12, I will be talking more persistence, perseverance, purpose, and the power of people in my talk titled, GET GRITTY- THE KEY TO TEEN SUCCESS: A POSITIVE AND PROACTIVE APPROACH TO BUILDING PERSEVERANCE, SELF-CONTROL, AND A GROWTH MINDSET.