I absolutely love being able to go catch a new movie or two on the weekends. And then after watching the movie, I process through what I've just seen for what big life lessons can be learned by watching the movie. Then, since I'm all about the money lessons, I also turn those life lessons into money lessons that we can learn as well.
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If you haven't yet seen Mary Poppins Returns, I can't guarantee that I won't spoil anything for you with this post. So if you don't like spoilers, read the rest of this post at your own risk.
Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel to the original movie, where Michael and Jane were children.
Now Michael and Jane are all grown up, Michael has three children of his own and his wife has just passed away. Mary Poppins comes back at the very beginning of the movie to bring her life lessons to the Banks children.
While Mary Poppins came back to specifically help Michael, his children also got the benefit of having Mary Poppins as their nanny as well, just like Michael and Jane did when they were children.
To me, there are two main money themes in this movie:
1. About greed and never having enough
2. Having everything you need in life, but still lacking the physical money.
Lesson one: There are greedy people who think they always need more, and you'll most likely meet them somewhere along your path.
The banker, William Wilkins Jr., always wants more. And he doesn't care how he gets it. Even if that means lying and cheating to get there.
He uses his lawyers to find ways to continue to grow the profit margin of the bank. Mr. Wilkins took money and possessions from the people of London because all he cared about was having more money.
Which in turn, actually created more people who disliked him and his bank. So they began to move somewhere else.
He forced the people of London out of their hard earned money and even of their homes that have been in the family for years.
But in the end, greed will usually lose you everything. Mr. Wilkins' uncle, Mr. Dawes, Jr. came back from his travels and fired Mr. Wilkins and accepted that Michael had paid on his loan in full with the investments that Michael's father had made to the bank.
Mr. Wilkins then ends up penniless and doesn't know how to go up from there, because he really let his greed get the best of him.
And in real life, there are going to be people, whether they are family, friends, enemies, employers, acquaintances, etc. that come into your life and show that all they really care about is having more - more money, more possessions, just more. This is a part of life. And the only way around this is to be grateful for what you do have.
Just like in the movie, Michael stated that Mr. Wilkins could have the house, the house wasn't what mattered, it was his family that mattered.
The same should be true for you. Possessions and more money don't matter as much as having the love of those around you. Most of the time, you have everything you really need right in front of you, but we don't see it, because we have been taught to keep working for more, keep making more, there is always more where that came from.
Greed is just the green-eyed monster that we try to ignore. But we really can't.
Lesson 2: Mary Poppins - "Everything is possible, even the impossible."
You may not believe everything is possible right now. You may not ever believe that everything is possible.
But I'm going to burst your bubble and say that everything is possible. Everything that you want to do in this lifetime, is possible. Everything that you actually want to have, is possible.
I personally may not have learned this lesson from Mary Poppins, but it did take me a long time to learn it.
I know deep in my heart that everything really is possible. All I really have to do is find the answer in my heart and how to do what I need will appear in my mind when I'm really ready for it.
I struggled for years to connect the dots for the things I really wanted. But then, almost like magic, and kinda because I stopped trying so hard, the things I wanted started to fall into my lap.
I had a man who basically came out of nowhere just show up in my life and show me the kind of love and appreciation I'd always wanted in my life.
My business evolved into the business of my dreams when I stopped trying to force it.
The only way it's impossible, is because you let obstacles get in your way. You need to open your eyes to all of the possibilities that are out there for you. The more you open up and see what is in front of you, the more you'll realize that everything really is possible.
This isn't just true for fairytales. It's true for everything in this life. Where have you been in your life that you thought something was really impossible for you? And then it turns out that you were able to have that in your life, right? It's really not impossible. You just don't see all the pieces of the puzzle yet and how they fit together.
Also check out: The Ultimate Guide to Your Money Story
Lesson 3: There's nowhere to go, but up.
At the end of the movie, this new iconic song comes into play. The family goes to the fair at the park. There is a lady that is selling balloons. And she says that if you can see your reflection in the balloon, you've picked the right one and you'll fly away. Everyone but Mr. Wilkins picks a balloon that allows them to float in the sky.
And just like in the movie, if you really believe that you can only go up, that is what will happen. It doesn't matter if you are currently living paycheck to paycheck or can't pay all of your bills or don't have enough money left at the end of each month, there is nowhere to go but up. Believe that your situation can change and then look at the possibilities that can happen in your life.
There are always more possibilities than you can see right before you. But if you don't want to see them or believe that it's possible for you, then the possibilities aren't available for you.
When you believe in your heart that everything can change for you, there really is nowhere to go but up.
Lesson 4: See life like a child sees life. Mary Poppins does.
I see it every day, children see life as completely innocent and carefree. They don't see all of the problems that life may present to us. They just enjoy what happens every day and allow the possibilities to happen in their life.
Children don't judge or really care about the stupid things that adults do. Who cares what color skin someone has? Who cares if your best friend makes more (or less) money than you do? Who care if someone wears pajamas all day long or gets dressed up?
We may be adults and have more responsibilities than that of a child, but when you allow the possibilities to happen in your life, allow yourself to dream and see the life you really love, more things will happen in your life. And in the end this will also affect your money.
Love life. And start to see your life through the lens of a child again. Let more love in.
Lesson 5: A cover is not the book, discover more by opening the book and looking inside.
I know I have heard many times in my life to not judge a book by its cover and this lesson is very similar to that. And it also applies to your money.
Some people will make it look like they have everything in their life and all of the money that they could ever want. And other people will show you that they have very little. But again, what they show you isn't always the truth. You need to look inside yourself (and sometimes ask questions) to get the picture better.
Maybe those that show that they have everything in life have a lot of debt and are truly unhappy with their life. They spend all of the money they make, plus some to have all of the physical belongings that they have. They may also think that having more stuff and belongings is the way to get more people to like them.
And maybe those that have very little, have a lot of a money, but don't enjoy having a lot of stuff, but these people are actually very happy, because in the end it's not the things you have that really make you happy. It's the love, the people, the joy, that you have.
This all goes back to not judging a book by its cover, you also can't judge another person by what they have or don't have.
Think about your own personal situation. How do you present yourself to other people? Do you have a lot of stuff and very little money? Are you happy with the life you are living? Do you spend money that you don't need to spend? Do you enjoy having a lot of stuff available to you?
Mary Poppins is Very Good at Teaching, Both Adults and Children
And these are the best money lessons I've learned from seeing Mary Poppins Returns.
Money may make the world go round, but at the end of the day, money can't buy you love or happiness, that all comes from inside.
No person or thing is ever going to make you feel different, in the long term. It may work for right now, but it won't be something that is long term.
The answer is always going to be inside of you. Look within and you'll always find the answer you are seeking, whether it's related to money or not.
Did you have any other major takeaways from this movie? Let me know your thoughts on this movie.
Next read: The Money Lessons from The Greatest Showman