Ask Yourself 'What Would I Do?' - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Ask Yourself 'What Would I Do?'

Jul 13, 2016

Ask Yourself 'What Would I Do?' 

I watched the latest Disney Pixar animated movie, Finding Dory, last week. Now, for those of you who haven't seen it yet, I'm not going to spoil your fun and give away the storyline. But just to set a little background - Dory, a fish and the protagonist of the movie, has a short-term memory loss problem.

One fine day, she goes too far from her home and parents, and can't remember either. Her quest then is to find where she's come from and reunite with her parents.

During the course of the movie, she and her friends Nemo and Marlin meet with a lot of adventure on their way to Dory's home. At one point, when Nemo and Marlin are separated from Dory and don't know what to do, Nemo tells Marlin to think 'What would Dory do?'

This is interesting because Dory doesn't really come across as intelligent. She's forgetful, loses her way, doesn't think much, and doesn't have too many reference points, thanks to her weak memory... But Dory has one thing going for her - her spontaneity and her ability to 'keep swimming' and find alternative paths or solutions to any problem.

Nemo understands this positive side of Dory's personality, and brings it to the notice of his father, Marlin, who had once said in anger, 'The only thing Dory does well is forget.' Marlin is later ashamed of what he said and realises that the one way to find Dory is to think like Dory - imaginatively and spontaneously, without too much caution and planning, by simply 'doing'.

The line, 'What would Dory do?' is used by Dory herself toward the climax of the movie, when she gets lost and demotivated. This line has great significance, implying the need for her to look deep within to find the answers.

Because when Dory thinks of how she would solve a problem, she gets the right solutions... She doesn't need to think or act like someone else. She simply needs to be herself and think for herself...spontaneously and with the little resources she has.

For me, this was one of the big messages of the movie, along with the fact that Dory believed she had to 'keep swimming' till she found what she wanted. The movie eventually becomes more, not about Dory finding her parents, but about Dory finding herself, by overcoming her fears and discovering her strengths.

Finding Dory is a great metaphor for our own lives. So many of us look outside for counsel; we feel the need for second opinions and third opinions before we make decisions, both big and small. Seldom do we trust that the way we do things is probably the best way for us...

Our approach to life is precisely what makes us unique. We don't need any external validation, from society or friends, or anyone else 'out there'.

What may appear to the world as one of our biggest weaknesses - in Dory's case, her weak memory - could be our biggest strength. Because to overcome a particular weakness, we have to develop a new way of doing something, and that helps us tap into our ingenuity and creativity... All this goes into making us a stronger and more complete person, and helps us develop unique skills.

Dory's short-term memory loss was actually her biggest advantage. Every time she deals with a problem, she has to find a new solution. She always thinks 'outside the box'...simply because she doesn't have a box of memories or points of reference to rely on.

It's a great lesson for all of us wanting to think differently - forget what you know, empty your cup and allow yourself to approach situations and life in a fresh way each time.

I believe some of the most original thinkers are not those who think how someone else would do something, but those who think how 'they' would do something.

Next time you are stuck and think you should ask for advice, don't pick up the phone, don't wait for help, don't read a self-help book... Ask yourself, 'What would I do?'

I have a feeling you'll find the solution most suited to your life.

Image Source: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock


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13 Responses to "Ask Yourself 'What Would I Do?'"

Dhaval Chokshi

20 Jul, 2016

Very nice inspiring artical ... Thanks for sharing

Like (1)

Shailendra Jajpuria

16 Jul, 2016

Beautiful Article, as always. Gives a new insight, dimension to our perspectives. Thanks a lot. Now I am tempted to see the movie.

Like (1)


15 Jul, 2016

Great article...Well written...Thanks a lo..t 

Like (1)


14 Jul, 2016

Wonderful article.eyeopener for anyone who want mtion and purpose in life.

Like (3)

Aarti aggarwal

13 Jul, 2016

Dive inwards and not outward !! Very well put together !

Like (1)


13 Jul, 2016

Excellent Ritika !! Its motivating, thanks for sharing.

Like (1)


13 Jul, 2016

Great! Out of the box thinking to overcome difficulties of day to day.

Like (1)

salil mehta

13 Jul, 2016

I am glad that I read your article. It is very timely. I believe our subconscious mind has all the answers, although some times it does look that we are stuck in the same situation without any movement or solution. Only we can take appropriate action and decisions in all big and small matters which affect us and our loved ones . Thanks Ritika

Like (1)


13 Jul, 2016


Like (1)

Dharmendar Kanwar

13 Jul, 2016

Very nice. As you've rightly pointed out - a lot of us do look outside for help and what you've written makes sense.

Like (1)

Bhola Singh

13 Jul, 2016

Very inspiring and helpful story. The message within is indeed memorable.

Like (2)


13 Jul, 2016

Indeed very true. We forget our own abilities and this story is timely reminder. Thanks

Like (1)

Suman Mehta

13 Jul, 2016


Like (1)

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