The the other day I was playing with my 4 year old niece who was using a word from a movie I watched many times in my childhood: Mary Poppins. She kept on repeating “Supercalifradulisticexpialidocious” and singing along the song to the best of her memory (which is insanely remarkable for a 4 year old).
It got me thinking more about the film and how it is a big influence on my current mindset and how I approach not just life in general but more specifically the work that I do and the people I work with. I decided to breakdown the various anecdotes from the film and give a quick perspective on how these seemingly trivial phrases continue to impact me and my outlook on work and life.
A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down
- Optimism is the key to getting through tough work and life situations.
- You have to take the bad with the good. There is seldom a project that goes perfectly according to plan and I’m always looking for a way to make the experience more positive for myself and my clients.
- Let your imagination run wild once and a while. You’ll be happily surprised at what you find out about yourself.
- Sometimes the most complex ideas can be summarized in very simple terms. If you take a long time to explain it, chances are you don’t quite understand it well enough.
Love to laugh
- Allow yourself to be silly. Keep remembering to be playful and fun spirited.
- Find humor in what you do and who you are. Life shouldn’t always be taken so seriously.
Feed the birds (not the banks)
- Charity not only helps others but helps you by making you feel better.
- Saving every penny does not necessarily bring you happiness. It may make you richer but remember to enjoy what you have instead of endlessly desiring for more.
- Sometimes it’s good to have a healthy distrust of the establishment
A sweep is as lucky, as luck as me
- Don’t always assume that those who are rich are happy and those that are poor are sad.
- There’s great value in the simplest or dirtiest of tasks. By having a positive outlook on what you are doing and taking time to view the world through someone else’s eyes you might find more beauty than you could have imagined.
- Don’t treat those with simpler jobs as below you. They will respect you more if you respect them.
- We all have different levels of intelligence and capabilities. Just because someone might not have gone through years of design school or spent years developing websites doesn’t mean it isn’t as valuable as what you do.
Let’s go fly a kite
- Work is great but don’t let it consume your life. Take time out to do something fun even if its ridiculously simple and might be viewed as juvenile.
- Realize that the simplest pleasures in life don’t require a lot of work. Often times it just requires the desire to do them and setting aside time to do them.
- Often times our relationships require a bit more attention and when things go wrong we need to make sure to properly mend them (as with Michael’s kite). If the relationship is truly valuable to you, dedicate the time out of your busy life to keep it in good condition.
For what its worth these are my interpretations of these sayings and how they continue to resonate with me. I find that no matter the design or development work that I do, I can’t help but to interject parts of my personality that have been carried over from my younger years and into adulthood.
Paul is a UX designer and web developer who founded Lab Coat Media and works as a consultant for Ness SES. He balances his time between design and development projects and teaching workshops on Axure prototyping and UX design. He is an active member of the local community in Los Angeles and is a co-organizer of the LAUX meetup group.