Yes, this is a Lion King reference, no this is not a movie review. This is a realization I had about the original that has never made more sense or been clearer to understand for me until now. Throughout the whole animated movie ( no shade, I haven't seen the remake) Rafiki is considered the off character that has enlightened moments. Back then it seemed true, but now as a seasoned adult, Rafiki was really giving us the base rules for keeping your head up in life.
We all know about how Simba got detoured from his destiny to be king. I think a lot of us deal with that same feeling of being lost when it comes to finding our purpose in life. We all had some type of dream for our lives at some point. Maybe it was more than just a dream, it was something that we actually had the pleasure of experiencing and got pretty good at. Then, life happens and you have to choose between what you feel is right in your heart or what is most comfortable. It can really boil down to a moment of facing every fear you've ever had to keep that dream alive, or running to safety and abandoning that dream.
Obviously I'm not talking about running for your life like in the movie, but it can feel like you're fighting for your life when you're forced to choose between the life you know was meant for you and possibly losing everything you have. A lot of us become faced with that choice and choose to run back to safety, usually in a job that is more financially secure or keeping the support of people who just don't see your vision. While you may become content with the path you have, eventually you may start to wonder "what if".
Rafiki was spot on with a few points, my favorites are "you can learn from your past or run from it" and "look beyond what you see". We all have things we kick ourselves for. We constantly look back on things we did and know in hindsight how we should have done differently. You can't change the past no matter how deep in reflection you get. What you can do is make a note to not make the same mistake again (learn from it), or continue to make the same mistake, make excuses and keep trying to cover it up (run from it). No matter which we choose, life moves forward.
Now, bringing the topic to the present, how satisfied with your life are you? Do you feel like you've been short changing yourself? Is everything how you always believed it would turn out? To reach a goal or dream, something that is not in the physical world yet, you have to be able to envision it as true before it's ever manifested. "Look beyond what you see". If you only ever see the situation you're in, how will you ever gather the strength, courage and motivation to change it? You have to be able to say "look, I know things are kinda shitty right now, but I'm not gonna be here forever. I may be broke today, but I can win the lottery tomorrow. I hate this job, but I can get a new one next week". It's so important to not let yourself believe that your current situation is the end all be all.
As long as you have the ability to create a small change today, you can expect results down the line. The biggest thing is to remember is that change starts with today, not yesterday because you can't change the past, and not tomorrow because it's not here yet. Learning, moving forward and keeping vision is what gets you out of whatever situation you don't want in your life. It doesn't matter how long you've been on a detour, if you still remember your final destination, you'll arrive eventually.