Motivational Movie Monday: Mrs. Doubtfire
First and foremost, RIP to Robin Williams. He is still to this day one of my favorite actors. He continues to bring so much happiness, laughter, and joy to the millions who still watch his movies. My son is 12 and never watched the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, and so we decided to watch as a family.
As you may already know, I’m always looking for inspiration to stay the course on my road to self-growth. This movie was no exception. However, before we jump into what we can learn from the Mrs. Doubtfire, first let me give you all a recap. Yes, there will be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it please go check it out.
About The Movie
Robin Williams plays Daniel, a hilariously funny, charismatic and present father who is a voice actor. His wife, Miranda, played by Sally Fields, is an interior decorator for a large company and is the primary breadwinner in the home. In the beginning of the movie, we see Daniel throw an insane birthday party for his son. I won’t lie, that party looked awesome. They had a petting zoo, food and good music. That’s all I need.
Anyway, his wife, Miranda is at work and the neighbor calls to alert her of the animals and noise. Miranda comes home very upset and is at her wit’s end. She asks Daniel for a divorce and he and the kids are devastated. In court, Daniel can only have one supervised visit a week because he doesn’t have stable income and a place to live. Meanwhile Miranda is on a search to find a babysitter for the kids after school and won’t let Daniel do it. I’m still not sure why she had to be so mean. When I saw this movie a long time ago, I couldn’t stand Miranda.
Daniel, with his think outside-of-the-box personality and creative on the fly energy decides that to be with his kids he’ll create the character, Mrs. Doubtfire. He fools Miranda and the kids into thinking he is this super nanny, jack of all trades, British woman sent from the child care gods.
Of course, like all 90’s movies, the joy for all comes crashing down when everyone finds out that Mrs. Doubtfire is indeed Daniel. However, you already know there is always a happy ending, right? Well, Daniel had spent so much time pretending to be this extraordinary woman that he ended up becoming an extraordinary version of himself. This folks is the lesson.
What We Can Learn
Daniel was faced with the reality that he was losing his wife and children. Although Miranda is seen as the villain in the movie, I think Miranda actually did Daniel a favor. As long as he was able to remain in complacency, there was no real growth. The circumstances of his reality catapulted him into action. Unfortunately, this is typically the only way human beings seek to change; when something unfortunate happens.
To be with his kids, Daniel had to invent a character, Mrs. Doubtfire. This character personified everything that he was lacking beforehand. Although this character he created still had Daniel’s wit and charm, Mrs. Doubtfire also displayed grace, calm, and maturity. By the end of the movie, we see Daniel take on these traits even when he’s not Mrs. Doubtfire. He ends up scoring a better job. He has a nice clean home, can cook, and his approach to parenting is more balanced.
Hard things can either do one or two things: build us or break us. The hard things built Daniel. Sometimes we have to be pressured to become those diamonds. Trust me, it sucks every time, but when we harness that energy in a productive way, we grow.
The reality is that sometimes we have to look to a character, another person, or idea, and imitate that until we can authentically absorb all of those qualities. I have many people that I look towards to embody the qualities I want for myself. Daniel had to put on the ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ getup everyday until he learned how to be that incredible person by himself.
Daniel had a whole outfit and mask to remind him of what he needed to become. Of course we’re not going to dress up as someone completely different (unless you want to), so we have to find reminders. For example, wearing certain clothes and doing my makeup puts me in a boss lady mode and I tend to get more done. Beyoncé used an alter ego, Sasha Fierce, to perform on stage. Some people wear jewelry to remind them. Tom Bilyue, creator of Impact Theory, wears a ring shaped as a robot, his logo, to remind him of what he wants and the traits he’ll need to embody to get there.
What will you use to remind and inspire you to reach your greatest potential?