3 Take Aways from Shrek Forever After



“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” — Maria Robinson

He’s big.  He’s green.  He tries to do the right thing.  His name is Shrek.

I finally got to see Shrek Forever After. It reminded me a bit of It’s a Wonderful Life with a twist.  Shrek is tired of the routine and wants a change of pace.

He wants just one day to be an ogre again.

He makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to trade a day from his past, for one day to romp and play without his everyday responsibilities.

The problem is Rumplestilskin is a shady guy with some hidden agendas.

Why is it that striking a deal with shady characters never works out how we planned?

Here are my three take ways from Shrek Forever After:

1. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

It really can be hard to know the value of what’s right in front of you until it’s not there anymore.  You might even be surprised by what you miss.  Shrek had it all and didn’t appreciate it enough until it was gone.  Another way to look at it is, things can always be worse.  Maybe if Shrek practiced some more attitude of gratitude he could have coped better with his day to day frustration?  After all, he was living a fairy tale.

2. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Poor Shrek. I learned this lesson too after falling for too many scams.  Now, I know how to check my gut, check the fine print, and when in doubt, I get another pair of eyes on it.  When you know the right questions to ask or the evidence to look for, you can almost always find the scam.

3. True love isn’t always love at first sight.

Sometimes you have to get to know someone, to love someone.  It was nice to see a fairy tale show another path to the heart.

We all have those days where the grass looks greener somewhere else.  I think those are the day we really have to look at what we have right in front of us.

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  1. I know I’ve been there. The grass looks greener… then when I’m in that new grass I’m hating on all the bugs that I didn’t know were there.

    I’ve recently been more aware of appreciating what I have instead of what I don’t. I’ve been working on a morning ritual of gratitude. While I’m in the shower I think of all the things I’m grateful for. It’s help me set up a positive day.

  2. @ Karl — I think it’s a great way to start your day on a firm foundation. It’s also a great way to direct your attention and that’s one of the best ways I know to shape your mindset for success.

    @ Fred — I finally appreciate Bugs Bunny. I didn’t realize it was so many adult themes at the time.

    @ Positively Present — If I had to rate it, Shrek 2 is still my favorite, but I enjoyed Shrek Forever After, too.

  3. @ Ivana — Yeah, love at first site, or even love at first bite, Dracula style, are fun in the movies, but don’t always happen in real life.

  4. Hiya J.D. –

    I truly appreciate the quote. The time that has past cannot be ‘UNDONE’. What can be done is begin a new life/task moving forward.

    We all make mistakes and the moment we correct it and not repeat the same thing ( as then it will become habit) we move to a next higher level to achieve our goals in life.

    My daughter loves the movie – Shrek. She still has McDonald’s happy meal toys when promoting the movie.

    Bye for now,

  5. @ Cheryl — I was so glad when I found the quote. It was perfect for the movie, and perfect for life. Shrek is a true classic and the toys are great.

  6. Wow. Absolutely great take aways ! I knew them before, but seeing them so neatly spelled out can’t but appreciate. To know something still does not mean that you have fully understood it. Suffering through is the ticket for the show,since wisdom can’t be taught. However being aware butters the wheels.

  7. Hi JD .. we need to live in the now – work the now through and then once we understand we can move on .. I haven’t seen Shrek – but certainly you’ve shown us 3 good lessons .. thanks Hilary

    PS – the quote too as Cheryl says .. brilliant we can change the ending .. or make sure it’s likely to be better .. enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

  8. @ Michael — I’m increasingly becoming a fan of edutainment and I see how an old song sung new can lead to new insight or even just a deeper grasp.

    @ Hilary — I like to think of the fresh start model, where each day is a new chance up at bat, and I get to carry the good forward (and leave behind whatever wasn’t working.) have a great weekend.

  9. @ Paulette — Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, Shrek was pretty intense and it sure plucks at the heart strings 😉

  10. JD, this is a really great post! a nice reminder of a few things today. I was feeling a bit discouraged and I am connecting very much with these lines: “Shrek is tired of the routine and wants a change of pace. He wants just one day to be an ogre again.”.. maybe I am just far from home and realizing just how much I have changed being around others I used to be connected with, but also how much more change I want to embrace in my life, for good –not temporarily. I want the bolder, new lands, and to realize that there is “no going back” as a confident mindset is very surreal, and yet necessary. Trying to stay clear with what that is, and then to not hesitate anymore. Thanks for the light-hearted post with relevant topics! 😉 xx Jenn

  11. @ Jenn — Thank you! I can relate to your journey. One book I think that will resonate very much for you is Go Put Your Strengths to Work. As you read it, you’ll find more ways to connect from the inside out, and re-enforce that you’re on your path.

  12. Hey JD,
    just perusing your archives and getting to unveil so much useful knowledge,what i like the most about this post is that it comes from such a simple story and yet you are able to analyze it in such a way that it brings such deep meaning to our day to day life’s and again put the message forward in such an easy way for anyone to learn and follow.
    many thanks

  13. @ Joseph — Thank you. I find one of the big tricks in life is turning insight into action, and it does take practice. Simplicity is often elegance in action.

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