Pixar's 'Soul’ Offers a Thesis on the Meaning of Life, and It’s a Pretty Good One

What are we supposed to do with our lives - this is a question that runs through Pixar’s movie Soul, and pretty much in the background of all of our lives. 

Through this movie, Pixar has transmitted what millions of people wish to experience - a release from the oppression of purpose and its sacredness. Soul’s core story speaks directly to the hopes and fears of most adults watching. When we try to reflect on our life and its meaning, we are often faced with the popular verbiage of goals, grand ambitions, dreams, of hoping and trying, of premonitions of defeat. 

Through a simple yet compelling storyline, Soul follows Joe Gardner - a middle school music teacher as he tries to find his life’s purpose. Joe is a gifted piano player but feels stuck in a rut. His dreams of being a jazz legend and playing at prestigious clubs, but his mother has different ideas about his life and believes that a steady job with pension and health insurance are key to a better life. 

Like Joe, many of us are haunted by the feeling of finding and living our purpose in life. We often envy those who have it all ‘figured out’ and also perceive fame and fortune as a proxy to purpose. Our ideals of success then shift from meaningful work to obsessive tendencies like overworking, making our lives seemingly perfect, extreme beliefs and rigidity. 

But is there a single perfect way to find your purpose? Is there a one-size fits all solution to this worldly dilemma? While the answer to this question is subjective, the movie and its characters show you a refreshing take on the pursuit of your purpose. 

The movie highlights an important life hack - to look for magic in the mundane and be present in the everyday moments of your life. What if life's purpose isn’t experienced through sensationalism but through banality? 

The little things that we do everyday yet barely notice are of vital importance to our lives. And it’s when you learn to value and cherish these moments that you are truly living each day of your life. 

Soul is not about finding one true purpose in life, but showing how the little things make life worth living. “Your spark isn’t your purpose. That last box fills in when you’re ready to come live,” says Joe.

Do give this a watch if you haven’t already. Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

by Team ConsciousLeap | 13/07/2021

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