We all remember the beloved little lion cub that we grew up with since 1994. He sang about what a good king he’d be, he had a courageous streak, and he also had a killer BFF Nala that everyone adored. It’s not until watching the new 2019 version, however, that I noticed how much Simba and I have in common.
Okay, I’m not a lion. I’m also not heir to a throne, and I don’t have any daddy issues. However, the symptoms that Simba’s has are ones that I can spot from a mile away; he’s having a quarter-life crisis.
Bingo, once you’ve identified a quarter-life crisis, then you can work through it. Not that having this quarter-life crisis is a negative thing, for Simba, it makes him a much stronger Lion. So, let’s evaluate how Simba manoeuvers his quarter-life crisis, learn from him, and come out as strong lions with the power to terrify with a single roar. (too cheesy? Nah, it’s Disney)
Warning: we don’t know Simba’s age throughout the film, but that’s okay because QLC can pop up at any time. Isn’t that fun?!
He Finds A New Support System
After being shamed by his uncle and feeling like he’s a failure because he may or may not have murdered his dad, (** Spoiler alert **it wasn’t him), he runs away and meets two very different minded individuals. With the two friends by his side, he learns a new moto – Hakuna Matata. He realizes that there is a lot to understand from life and that sometimes the circle of life needs to be seen as a line of experience before you can realize it’s full completion and get to ‘grips’ with the cycles.
Simba Tip # 1: So if you haven’t found your Timon & Pumba yet, go out and look for them. Preferably a couple of new friends or a community that can support you. If you can find friends that crack jokes every now and then, that’ll make it more fun.
He Sings To Cure His Anxiety
Most of my friends who struggle with anxiety claim that the best way to ease them through the pain is through music. Granted, most of my friends love musical theatre so that may be a reason, but obviously, Simba seems to agree. The Hakuna Matata tune is one that stays with him from his baby cub years to his teenage/man years. Anytime that Simba seems to struggle with intense emotions, he breaks into song. He’s frustrated with his teeny size throughout I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, he is learning to deal with grief and pain with Hakuna Matata and he falls in love to Can You Feel The Love Tonight.
Simba Tip # 2: So take a page from his book and find a little tune you can hum when you need to deal with overwhelming emotions.
He Adapts His Diet And Lifestyle To His New Home
Thinking about how we are destroying our planet, creating too much CO2, and overfarming is depressing. A lot of young Quarter-life Crisis goers seem to find adapting their diets as a way of controlling what they can do to help the planet. Simba is no exception. Once he moves to a new area and makes new friends, instead of looking for juicy antelopes, he turns to grubs, bugs and any insect that won’t scream for mercy. He realizes that his surroundings need him not to eat them and so he chooses to gorge on fruit flies. Though I kept on thinking about how such a big lion would eventually need a little more protein to overthrow Scar, I respect his determination in not eating his friends. I’m sure sometimes he thought about it but good on him for sticking to his guns.
Simba Tip # 3: Finding ways of adapting your diet to your environment isn’t bad advice at all. Food is fuel. So give yourself the right amount of veggies and proteins to keep you creating. Also, we all need to look after mother earth so sometimes we can choose not to buy that avocado that flew all the way from Peru and instead choose to buy the eggplant that’s been grown locally.
He Learns To Just Lie About And Do Nothing #Selfcare
At one point, Timon asks Simba, “you decide what we should do today” to which Simba replies “Nothing!”
It’s so important to be able to sit back sometimes, relax, sing some of your favorite songs, see some friends or simply just eat all the grub you can find in your fridge. Self-care is an essential part of dealing with a QLC, and being able to say no or to listen to what your body needs and wants is a must!
Simba Tip # 4: Find a day or days where you can lie about or treat yourself to your favorite activities, favorite foods, and favorite people. You could also spend that time relaxing alone.
He Listens To His BFF Nala/Beyonce (and falls in love with her)
Let yourself be inspired by the people who surround you. Ask them for feedback on your life (like a kind yelp review) and take those compliments or constructive criticism to allow yourself to improve your habits. It’s essential to have personal cheerleaders in life, but it’s also important to have people who can guide you when you’re feeling a little confused and lost. Every now and then my friends and I have mini feedback sessions, “what am I doing right, what can I improve.” It sounds a bit weird and perhaps brutal, but to hear the people you love to give you genuine advice because they care, is eye-opening. It allows you to reflect on your thoughts and actions in a way that sometimes self-reflection does not allow.
Simba Tip # 5: Turn to people close to you to seek guidance on whether you are following the right path.
Simba Tip # 5.0: Go listen to some Beyonce if you’re feeling low.
–Partition will pump you up for sex
–Flawless will help you walk into that meeting
–Sorry will help you get over that breakup
Simba Tip # 5.0.1: Falling in love is beautiful if it’s done with someone that respects you.
He Turns To Spirituality
When he feels lost about his identity and doesn’t know where he belongs in the world (I’ll remind you he ran away and went “traveling”), he connects with his deceased father and turns to his ancestors for guidance. I mean, that’s basically what I do when I cleanse my crystals and shuffle my tarot cards. Simba’s obviously super well connected spiritually because it takes him no time to make contact with his father and receive divine guidance. Through finding his father’s soul within him (remember that he lives in you) he realizes where his duty lies and what he was originally destined to do in the first place. He reconnects with himself and finds peace within.
Simba Tip # 6: no matter your religion, or lack thereof, try to find time to connect with yourself through meditation, prayer, creativity sports, etc.…Think about the values that you were raised with and the ones you have developed yourself. Identify what you wish to keep, adapt, or discard.
He Goes Home Because Sometimes You Need To Lose Yourself To Find Yourself Again
Having traveled, met new people, sung, gorged on bugs, fallen in love, and discovered his soul within, he realizes that the place he must be is back home with his family. This does not mean that his journey was futile; without this journey and his family, including old and new members, Simba would have never turn into the great king that he became.
Sometimes going away and learning new things is essential to bringing you inner strength, happiness, and creating balance in your life.
Simba Tip # 7: Learn from your journey and allow yourself to explore all areas of your life. Even though the “elephant cemetery” can bring darkness, it will bring beauty and strength eventually.
I hope we can all use these Simba life tips to try and enjoy our life as much as he does in his pride lands. Let’s allow our journeys to create our own paths, where we can be proud of all our adventures and lessons we build and learn along the way and remember that if life is too tough on you, or you’re feeling all the pressure of the world “Hakuna Matata!”
Feature Image courtesy of Disney