Alice in Wonderland is a tale from Lewis Carroll who wrote it in 1864. The story has been such a huge success ever since and many movies and plays have been made based on it. Alice in Wonderland is really about learning from our mistakes, firing the imagination and making the impossible possible.
In the fantasy, Alice chases after a white rabbit sporting a waistcoat and tumbles down a rabbit hole into a world of wonder, one that’s very dissimilar to the one she came from. The silliness of Alice in Wonderland makes you laugh and makes the book very appealing.
As Carroll takes Alice from one adventure to another I see a bit of Alice inside myself where I make the same mistakes more than once until I finally get it. In the land of make believe, where animals can talk, Alice’s size fluctuates, up and down like a yo-yo until she finally figures out how to control it by nibbling on a piece of mushroom. More than once, she offends and frightens, by telling the mouse and birds about her cat Dinah who loves to catch mice and chase birds.
Five Great Ideas
Communicate in simple, clear language to avoid misunderstandings.
Don’t take things personally.
If you have a destination, does it really matter how you get there? How about you enjoy the journey instead?
Manage your emotions – never lose your temperThink before you speak.
So, how can you apply the simple concepts in Alice in Wonderland? Think of a challenge that you are currently facing:
If you were standing on the shoulders of a giant, how differently would you view the challenge? And, if you could shrink the challenge, or break it down into smaller chunks, what difference would it make in resolving it? The way you view the world depends on where you are positioned, and Alice in Wonderland opens you up to many possibilities. Transform the impossibilities in your life to possibilities!
The transformation Alice goes through from a girl that is told to resign from her dreams, to a young lady who follows her heart towards her dream, and by facing her fear, she finds her passion, values and mission.
I found the Strategies Alice applies so real, and the symbolism in the movie so powerful that I would like to share some my insights and key questions with you.
Your Vision: When Alice was a little girl, her mother told her that her Wonderland was not worth it, that she must study her lessons and forget her dreams. Alice kept having her dream and her father understood her, as he was also holding on to his vision against all odds. ‘You are MAD, but all the greatest people are’, he tells her daughter before she goes to sleep.
Your Identity: Who are You? In the first film she answers ‘I cannot explain myself, I am afraid, Sir, because I am not myself you see.’
Who are You? In the second film Alice replies ‘ I am Alice, I am the daughter of… I have a sister called.., a mother called…, I live in London…’ But the Caterpillar makes Alice understand that the description says actually nothing about who she really IS. ‘You are Almost Alice,’ he said. Everyone in Wonderland doubts her abilities to follow her dream. What about You? Do you know who You are now, and who You could become?
Your Life: ‘How come I am not Alice if this is My Dream?’ We are living our lives, at least it is the impression, but think about this: are we actually living to the fullest? How involved are You in Your life? How committed are You in taking the actions You must take in order to Be the best vision of Yourself?
Your Image: Alice’s first battle was against the Dress code. She dares not to wear what was expected of her: the corset doesn’t let her breathe, and the stockings limit her movement. And You, Who do You dress For?
Your Power: The Power of The Duchess is an illusion, her power is competitive and manipulative, just like a man’s way of being. She did not use her feminine power, the one based in War and Love. The second film confirmed that everyone around her was fake, and unveiled how weak she really was, and how alone she was – nobody could stand her. What kind of leader are You? Do Your lead as a man, or as a Woman?
The Impossible is Possible: Alice gives us great advice throughout the movie: ‘every morning, I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast’. ‘They are impossible if you think so’, the Mad Hatter says. Which 6 things are You dreaming about? Why are they important for You? What could You do to make them Your reality?
The Enemy: Alice understood that there were not really enemies out there. Every battle she fought was to demonstrate to herself how strong she was: Alice conquered her fear and enemy with the war of love and friendship, she sleeps with the enemy, and she always gets what she wants. The circumstances always provided her with the tools, energy and allies she needed to win. She understood that the How is not important, only the Why of the battles. And You? How do You face your enemies?
Although the story of Alice in Wonderland is fictional, there are so many trials that we endure from one day to the next, sometimes it may feel as though we are trapped or “stuck” in a certain place in life, but this is far from true. It’s the time when we feel we are stuck and not moving that we are going from the caterpillar to cocoon stages in life.
It is when we are in our toughest of times that we learn our most valuable lessons in life, when we are going through these times we are forming into a beautiful butterfly in the end, but we are too caught up in the roughness, that we aren’t able to be patient.
What is Holding You back, to make that first step and Live Your Dream?
Even if you have read Alice in Wonderland when you were a child, I recommend that you read it through adult lens. What metaphors are used that relate to you life? What lessons can you learn from this timeless classic?